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Tyler Ecker being groomed as a blocking tight end

While I had hoped that Ecker become the stealth red zone target that we sorely lacked in 2006, I'd be just fine if he developed into a blocking tight end. He's been trying to put on weight to fit whatever role will get him on the roster and has done an admirable job to that end thus far, per the Times Dispatch (with a hat tip to ES):

The Redskins are seeking a tight end who can line up next to the left tackle and always get his man. They want a tight end who can consistently put a strong body block on defensive ends, linebackers and safeties.

The running game always works better when the tight end is sealing off would-be tacklers.

Ecker, who already is 19 pounds heavier than his college playing weight (250 then, 269 now) is smart enough to figure out his assignments. He was a two-time academic all-Big Ten Conference player at Michigan.

Actually he joined the roster listed at 246. But the huge ~20 pound swing in weight upgrades him from the lightest TE on the roster to... the heaviest. Chris Cooley lists at 265. I am impressed with his committment to beefing up, which also drastically improves his chance of making the team. And everyone loves a blocking TE:
He is not noted for speed or ability to slip into the open spots in a zone and catch passes. He caught 57 passes for 695 yards, a respectable 12.2 yards per reception, in four seasons at Michigan. He is noted for blocking, and that's what interested the Redskins.

It's possible to find blocking tight ends in the draft's later rounds. One of the best in Redskins history was Don Warren, now a pro personnel evaluator for Washington, who was taken in the fourth round of the 1979 draft.