In this preseason series, I will be taking a look at the 2023 Washington Commanders roster and giving my season predictions on how each position group will perform.
Today I will look at one of the positions that has a LOT of question marks - Tight End
Unlike wide receiver, the Commanders have not valued the tight end position like some other teams around the league have. Since taking over the team in 2020, Ron Rivera has not spent a top 100 pick on a tight end. The highest draft pick Rivera used on the position was the 124th overall pick (4th round) on John Bates in 2021. Prior to Rivera’s arrival, Washington hadn’t used a draft pick on the position since 2017 - when they selected Jeremy Sprinkle with the 154th overall pick.
New offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy had the best tight end in the NFL at his disposal in Kansas City and he used him more than any offensive coordinator in the NFL over the five-year period he was the coordinator of the Chiefs. He will not be as fortunate coming into Washington, as they have no one near Travis Kelce’s level. This will mean Bieniemy will have to get creative when it comes to tight end usage.
I will be focusing on the Commanders top three tight end options in this article.
Cole Turner - At 6’6” and nearly 250 pounds, Turner has the size and length to be a mismatch in this up-tempo offense. He’s supposedly added some muscle to his frame over the offseason, and coaches and teammates have said he’s gone through quite the body transformation.
Logan Thomas - Thomas returned to the field in 2022 after going through knee surgery in 2021 and did not look like the same player prior to the injury. He struggled to gain separation and was timid as a blocker. He came on a bit over the final month of the season, but at 32 years of age, his best days may be behind him. It will be interesting to see how he’s used in the offense and what type of routes he’s asked to run.
John Bates - Bates profiles as a TE3 and will be the guy used in obvious run sets as an in-line blocker. The issue here is that when he’s in the game, teams may key on the run, as he’s not going to provide a lot in the passing game. When he is targeted, he’s is a tough guy to bring down after the catch, and I love the fight in him not allowing the first man to bring him to the turf.
Who will lead the Commanders tight end room in receptions in 2023?
This poll is closed