When the Redskins drafted Jordan Reed, I didn't think he would be a strong replacement for Fred Davis so fast. I wondered if Reed could develop that quickly as a blocker to be anything other than a pass-catcher for his first couple of seasons. Turns out Reed got there much sooner. Because of it, the Redskins remain strong at tight end, though they will need to add someone in the offseason.
Jordan Reed: As long as he’s healthy, Reed will be a dynamic player for Washington. Durability has been an issue since he entered college, and he missed seven games last season, including six for a concussion. But when he played, Reed was terrific. He was just developing into a downfield pass-catcher when he was sidelined. Look for that to be a bigger part of his game in 2014. He provides more of a safety net than any other target because of his wide catch radius, as coaches like to say. He has tight end size, but receiver-like movements. Reed must improve as a blocker, but he was better at this in 2013 than anticipated.
Contract status: Signed through 2016
Logan Paulsen: With the Redskins keeping the same run game, with perhaps a few tweaks, it makes sense for Paulsen to stick around. He’s an excellent blocker, and if you’re going to run an outside zone, you had better have a tight end who can block. Paulsen will sneak in the occasional catch, but his value comes from his blocking.
Contract status: Signed through 2015
Niles Paul: While he improved in Year 2 as a tight end, he’s really better as a special teamer and won’t be anything more than a No. 3 at this position. He’s a good special teamer, but he’s also not as good as, say, Lorenzo Alexander was. In other words, you could replace him. However, Paul does have a passion for playing special teams -- not many do -- and if the Redskins draft another tight end (or sign one) and he’s their No. 4? That’s OK.
2014: Backup/special teamer
Contract status: Signed through 2014
Fred Davis: He had a disappointing season, and at some point will have to decide how well he wants to do in the NFL. Davis shows enough ability to be a good tight end, but he’s never sustained success whether because of suspensions or injuries. However, had Davis entered the NFL the way Reed did -- wanting and willing to work a certain way -- then we’re not having a discussion about him leaving. At this point Davis would best be served elsewhere. Besides, he wants to play and won’t get that chance here. So why would he stay? There is no reason for the Redskins to keep waiting to see if this is the season Davis finally gets it and does well for 16 games.
Contract status: Free agent as of March 11