Position: Tight end
Height: 6'3" Weight: 237 lbs
Drafted: Third round, 85th overall (2013)
Jordan Reed had an impressive start to his rookie season for the Washington Redskins in 2013, but injuries have since derailed his promising career. Heading into his third year as a Redskin, he must stay healthy in order to remain relevant.
#1. Reed was a quarterback in high school and was ranked the 10th-best dual-threat QB in the nation, but he made the transition to tight end after redshirting his freshman season. His stats at Florida are some of the most diverse you'll see at a major program:
- Receiving - 79 catches for 945 yards and six touchdowns
- Rushing - 77 carries for 328 yards and five touchdowns
- Passing - 26 of 46 for 252 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions
It's worth mentioning that Reed only recorded six catches in 2010 and didn't attempt a pass or a rush after that year, which served as his transition season, but it's not often you see a player at a top school with 40+ passes, rushes and catches.
#2. Washington took Reed in the third round of the 2013 draft, much to the former Gator's surprise. In his first conference call with the media after being drafted, he revealed that he had no idea that the Redskins were interested, yet he declared he "could not ask for a better situation."
"I have not had any contact whatsoever with the Redskins," he said at the time. "I had no idea I was getting picked by Washington. It was a big surprise to me and I am just so excited."
#3. Despite playing just nine games, Reed was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie team in 2013 after piling up 45 catches for 499 yards and three touchdowns. Pro Football Focus ranked him the seventh-best tight end that year, and, also according to PFF, he had the third-most yards per route run among tight ends (with at least 25% targets) with 2.19. Only Rob Gronkowski (2.75) and Jimmy Graham (2.26) surpassed Reed in the latter category. So this wasn't just a case of a decent player looking really good on a terrible team.
#4. He suffered a concussion in Week 11 of the 2013 season, and lingering symptoms brought his stellar rookie campaign to a premature conclusion. Poised for a huge follow-up season in 2014, Reed injured his left hamstring in the first quarter of the Skins' Week 1 loss to the Houston Texans and missed the next four games. Most recently, the 25-year-old tight end underwent a "little procedure" on his knee, but Jay Gruden recently declared him healthy and ready for OTAs.
#5. Reed is easily the most talented receiver among the tight ends on the roster. However, his blocking is suspect and he offers nothing on special teams, though the latter shouldn't hurt his chances of retaining the starting job. Logan Paulsen is a lock for the third slot on the depth chart, unless one of the less-heralded players pushes him out of a job, leaving Reed and Niles Paul to jostle for the top two spots.
Reed is a legitimate weapon in the passing game, but Paul stepped his game up last season with career highs in catches (39) and yards (507), so the advantage is smaller than it was a year ago. Paul is an above-average special teams player, so he gets an edge there, but his run blocking has completely fallen off recently. Paul was rated at a 1.8 in run blocking by PFF in 2012, but that number dipped to -3.1 in 2013 and plummeted to -11.5 last year; meanwhile, Reed scored a 4.2 in 2013 and -2.0 last year.
Bottom Line: Like a handful of other Redskins — Robert Griffin III, Phillip Thomas and Duke Ihenacho come to mind — staying healthy is the biggest test for Reed this year. When he's been on the field, he's been at least solid, and oftentimes spectacular. But if he continues at this rate, having missed 12 of 32 games so far in his brief NFL career, Washington will soon give up and look elsewhere for tight end help.