The Washington Redskins needed another tight end behind last year's rookie sensation, Jordan Reed. They got one at the top of Round 7 in former Indiana ace Ted Bolser.
While a need was answered, it's easy to query whether Bolser has the right attributes to make an impact as a complementary piece in the passing game.
The issue concerns his mobility. Reed is very much symbolic of the modern prototype for pro tight ends. He possesses tremendous "move" skills and can be moved around to create mathcup problems at every level of a defense.
However, Bolser doesn't quite fit in that bracket. He is built like a traditional in-line tight end at 6'5" and 257 pounds. The ex-Hoosier is also a little limited as a receiver.
He caught just 35 passes for a mere 320 yards in 2013, per cfbstats.com. To his credit, Bolser did manage to record six scoring receptions, a testament to the threat he poses in the red zone.
Has very small hands and short arms. Lumbering mover. One-speed route runner with minimal burst and acceleration to separate. Much of his production is schemed -- creates little on his own. Can be phased by traffic (hears footsteps) -- hands are suspect.
The strange thing about this pick is that the Redskins know there is a serious problem at the position when Reed is missing. Considering he was sidelined for seven games in 2013, it's surprising the team didn't target a tight end with similar skills as a versatile weapon.
Perhaps first-year head coach Jay Gruden is seeking a complement, a more traditional in-line blocker. But as Nawrocki stresses, Bolser "struggles sustaining blocks."
Washington already has Logan Paulsen to supplement its O-line. As Bolser isn't really one thing or the other at his position, his selection is a little curious.
As ESPN 980 reporter Chris Russell points out, the pick even came as a surprise to the player himself:
Competing and adding depth are good things for a rebuilding team. But it's still easy to wish Washington had gone for a more notable target.
As it is, even the most optimistic fans will likely have trouble believing Bolser can make the roster. His best chance might be to reach into his past to tap into his receiving roots:
Bolser "I play with a chip on my shoulder." Says his blocking got a lot better, came to Indiana as a wide receiver.— Chris Russell (@Russellmania980) May 10, 2014
If Bolser can rediscover his inner wideout, he might be able to turn a few heads during offseason workouts and training camp. Certainly, no coach is going to turn his back on a capable pass-catcher who weights nearly 260 pounds.
At the moment, though, it looks as if the Redskins took a flyer hoping to land a competent blocker and depth player.