Redskins Pick Tight End Jordan Reed in 3rd Round, Neglect Lingering Need
With their first pick in this year's NFL draft, the Washington Redskins began to address their need in the secondary by selecting cornerback David Amerson. He's got great ball skills, and his biggest issues are coachable, giving him a high ceiling.
Their next pick, Florida tight end Jordan Reed, is a luxury pick the 'Skins cannot afford, especially given the situation they currently have at tight end.
Fred Davis is entering what could either be the beginning of his second, third or fourth change with Washington, or his final season with the team after he's squandered or otherwise missed out on opportunities to be considered an elite tight end.
He signed a one-year "show me" deal following a suspension-shortened 2011 and an injury-shortened 2012.
Behind Davis is Logan Paulsen, who is more of a blocker than a receiving threat, and who was recently re-signed to a three-year deal following his modest career-best performance in place of Davis.
Paulsen isn't the future of the position, but he's a body who can block and run a route in a pinch.
The same cannot be said for the tight end behind Paulsen, Niles Paul, who transitioned from receiver to tight end in his second NFL season last year.
Paul is undersized for a tight end, which stems from it not being his primary position. He may quicker than a lot of tight ends, but his weight makes him easier to knock off his route, and his height leaves him exposed should he go up for a pass over the middle.
Drafting Reed simply doesn't make sense given the landscape of the position for the Redskins.
Why go through the effort of re-signing Davis if the intention is to replace him with the younger, less character concern-laden Reed? If Reed is insurance for Davis should he incur a suspension or another injury, why re-sign Paulsen or retain Paul?
The bigger question is why the Redskins grabbed a tight end, however talented he may be, in the third round, rather than addressing the bigger need at safety?
Fresno State free safety Phillip Thomas was at the time, and still is, on the board heading into the third day of the draft.
How can a top-100-rated prospect expect to be available at 119, particularly when he's the kind of ball hawk defenses love having?
Tanard Jackson, who was projected to be the starting free safety last season for the Redskins, is serving yet another suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. The suspension is indefinite, and there is no guarantee that he'll be reinstated as soon as he is eligible on August 31.
With so much in question regarding Jackson's future not just with the team, but in the NFL, why not draft Thomas?
If Reed becomes the next big thing at tight end, but the defense suffers through another year of abysmal safety play, is it worth it?
Maybe Reed and Davis become the best tight end tandem the league has ever seen and Thomas busts out in a few years. Who knows? At first glance, the pick doesn't seem right. Upon further review, we'll have to wait and see how Reed factors into the offense and the Redskins' future plans.
Perhaps Washington is just waiting, biding its time for Ray Ray Armstrong in the sixth or seventh round, and the safety issue will be solved. Until then, the Reed pick just doesn't sit well.
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