With the first cutdown day looming, the Washington Redskins completed their third preseason game with some unanswered questions.
Who will start at running back?
How many wide receivers will make the final roster?
Assembling a final 53-man roster is a struggle for most NFL teams. But there is one position where the Redskins have an embarrassment of riches: tight end. Specifically, the Redskins have more quality pass-catching tight ends than Josh Norman has enemies.
The tight ends were the star of the show Friday night as the Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills. That crew combined for nine receptions, 124 yards and a touchdown. There is no team that can match the Redskins when it comes to tight end depth, and it all starts with Jordan Reed, one of the top five matchup nightmares in the league.
Reed emerged last season as an elite player, amassing 87 catches for 942 yards and 11 touchdowns. Oh, by the way, he accomplished that in only 14 games. If he had played the entire season, you would be looking at a 100-catch, 1,100-yard season. Ridiculous for a wide receiver, that line is just plain stupid for a tight end.
However, Reed is as fragile as fairy wings, so general manager Scot McCloughan signed veteran Vernon Davis, with his 461 career receptions and 55 career touchdowns, in March. Davis, who attended Dunbar High School and the University of Maryland, is thrilled to wear the Burgundy and Gold of his hometown team. Add to the mix the return of Niles Paul (remember him?), whom former head coach Mike Shanahan once compared to Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, and you can see how deep the Redskins are at this position.
They are so deep that even Logan Paulsen, who is their blocking tight end, had a huge 30-yard catch and run when the 'Skins were pinned back at their own 2-yard line early in the fourth quarter Friday. When you can get YAC from your blocking tight end, you just sit back and laugh.
Over the next 10 days, the Redskins and every other NFL team will trim their roster from 90 to 53. As the cuts come in, McCloughan and his scouts will be scanning the waiver wire to find upgrades at every position. Every position except tight end because, like Joe Namath being interviewed by Suzy Kolber, the Washington Redskins are loaded.
Chuck Sapienza is the executive producer of the Naval Academy radio network and the former VP of Programming for ESPN980. He was also a part of the Washington Redskins Radio Network from 2009 to 2015, serving as the network's executive producer. He can be reached at SapienzaChuck@gmail.com
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