Washington Redskins: A Tight Situation

With the NFL Draft quickly approaching, the Washington Redskins must assess their tight end position as they head into the 2019 season.

As the draft draws near, the Washington Redskins are faced with a question they are seemingly always asked; which position do they try to fix first? Yes, the word fix is being used. Over the last few years, the team has hardly ever had a “game changer” with the last one dating back to Robert Griffin III in 2012. They have had talent on the roster. Rather than their talent shining like bright stars, players have seemed to slowly fade away. However, the Redskins have been linked to three main positions: quarterback, wide receiver, and safety. It is important to note that there are other positional needs like guard and linebacker. However, there is one position that is overlooked.

Survey says, tight end.

The tight end position is an important offensive piece, similar to a queen in chess. The queen can move in any direction and does not have a limit to the number of spaces. A tight end on the field is the jack of all trades. Prime examples would include Rob Gronkowski or Kyle Rudolph. The tight end can provide blocking help for receivers and quarterbacks or become an offensive ball carrier or receiver. Like Gronkowski, if played correctly, and the proper physical attributes are in place, the tight end can be a wild trump card.

Talent on the Washington Redskins Roster.

The Redskins arguably have a top ten tight end talent in Jordan Reed. With 446 targets, Reed has 329 receptions for 3371 yards with 24 touchdowns. Not bad numbers at all, however, there may as well be a permanent asterisk next to his name. The 28-year-old has never played a full season since being drafted in 2013. Often injured, the potential star has never quite shined brightly.

Behind him is Vernon Davis. An extremely personable gentleman off the field, the veteran tight end is approaching the other side of his prime. Though Davis is 34, he is still a physical presence on the field, providing excellent blocking. Davis can also assist on the receiving end of the offense. Though all of his numbers are essentially half of Jordan Reed’s, and despite being an elder statesman, he has been readily available; only missing two games in his three-year stint with the Redskins.

Last on the depth chart is Jeremy Sprinkle. Not much has been recorded due to his short time in the NFL. Sprinkle has played 27 games, has 7 receptions for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns. Certainly a reliable back up at best.

Could the Redskins draft an elite tight end?

Each tight end has its pros and cons. The Redskins are in a situation where they have to add offensive pieces. A tight end would not be a bad position to draft at 15th overall. Theoretically, the Redskins could get one of the top three tight ends of the draft class due to the lack of demand.

Enter T.J Hockenson out of Iowa. The 6’5″ junior ran a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash. Hockenson has the makings of what could be an elite NFL career. During his time in Iowa, he racked up 1080 yards and 10 touchdowns. If the ball is near Hockenson’s hands, the ball will be caught. The Washington Redskins could use all the receiving help they can get.

Another Iowa tight end, Noah Fant would also be a lovely candidate. Fant has 1083 yards, with 19 touchdowns during his three-year stint. The report on Fant is that he can be a deep threat, which again the Redskins desperately need. He is not a great blocker but can benefit the Redskins in the long run.

Long story short, the Redskins should consider drafting a tight end with the 15th selection. There are few teams in need of a tight end, and their offense is lackluster at best. Why not draft a potential star tight end to run alongside Jordan Reed for essentially half the cost?

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