There's a lot that we're going to learn in the coming years about the Redskins' 2013 draft picks, but it doesn't hurt to get a head start. That's why, in order to get to know a little more context about new Redskins tight end and Florida product Jordan Reed, I sent a few questions to Andy Hutchins, site manager for SB Nation's University of Florida blog, Alligator Army. Here's what he had to say:
1. What were your initial thoughts once you saw Washington as Jordan Reed's landing spot?
AH: I was happy for him. Reed came to Florida as a quarterback, got stuck in a mix behind John Brantley, transitioned to tight end under Will Muschamp, turned into a very good college tight end and basically did everything asked of him for three years. I can't help but wish the best for guys like him.
2. When Redskins fans take a look at Reed, they see a "joker" who can do a lot of different things on offense. Can you tell us more about what his responsibilities were at Florida?
AH: Reed was a receiving tight end first and second at Florida, and never really developed blocking skills on par with the rest of the players at his position. He spent most of his snaps on the field in the true tight end position, but was still split out wide pretty frequently, including in trips and five-receiver sets.
3. People seem to be quick to compare Reed to Aaron Hernandez. Is this a fair comparison?
AH: I don't love that comparison, because I think Hernandez (we call him Chico) is better than about 80 percent of NFL tight ends, and was the best tight end in college football in 2009. I also think Hernandez is a slightly less straight arrow, at least in terms of the narrow definition of "character" in the NFL, while I've heard no whispers of any trouble with Reed.
Stylistically, though, I can see the comparison: both are definitely better at receiving than blocking, and have the athleticism to make defenders miss in space. I'd take Hernandez over Reed, but Reed could definitely be a lower-rent version of his Florida predecessor.
4. Reed's had a few nagging injuries throughout his time at college, and it's been suggested that he will need to bulk-up a little to sustain a professional career. Could you see that hindering what he already brings to the table?
AH: I think he needs to bulk up, period, but Reed's injuries limited him only slightly. If he adds 20 pounds, I'd be worried about his speed, but he's a big dude who'll never have track star speed-- it's not like he's working with five percent body fat.
5a. Do you have a favorite moment of Reed's that stands out to you?
AH: Is it normal to have a favorite moment of a football player that involves that player crying? Reed tried to do a little too much against Georgia in 2012, leaping for what would've been a touchdown to bring Florida to within two points of the Dawgs, and had the ball punched out by Jarvis Jones in mid-air. On the sideline, Reed was inconsolable, clearly hurt by his inability to make a big play for his teammates.
That, I think, is a good snapshot of how much Reed wants to win for his team.
5b. Anything else you'd like to add about Reed?
The one thing any Florida fan who was paying attention in 2011 remembers about Reed is that HE JUMPED TO MAKE EVERY SINGLE CATCH, seemingly. That tendency waned in 2012, but it wasn't lost on me nor many others that Reed's biggest mishap of the year came on another jump.