News & Analysis

Washington tight ends the best in the league?

By Mark Chichester
Jul 26, 2017
Washington Redskins

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LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 01: Tight end Jordan Reed #86 of the Washington Redskins celebrates with teammate tackle Morgan Moses #76 after scoring a fourth quarter touchdown against the New York Giants at FedExField on January 1, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
  • In an interview with ESPN’s John Keim, Washington Redskins tight end coach Wes Phillips has claimed that the Redskins current tight end group are “the best in the league.” As Keim notes, it’s not just because he has a top 5 tight end in Jordan Reed or because Vernon Davis enjoyed a bounce back year in 2016. Phillips praises the depth behind the two, as he calls himself “the luckiest tight end coach in the league for sure”.
  • When he’s at 100 percent, Jordan Reed arguably one of the best tight ends in the league. Over the last two years he has attained PFF overall grades of 84.2 and 84.7, ranking fifth and sixth in the league, respectively. When he’s on the field he’s been exceptionally reliable, and of the 258 catchable targets he’s seen in his career, Reed has dropped just 10. Reed has seen 211 targets over the last two seasons, and when targeting Reed, Kirk Cousins has amassed a passer rating of 121.0. However, as he enters his fifth season in the league, Reed has yet to make it through all 16 games.
  • Vernon Davis enjoyed a bounce back year in 2016, and during the campaign he caught 44 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns. His drop rate of 4.35 was not only the best of his career, but the 10th-lowest of all tight ends with at least 30 targets. He ended the season averaging 2.05 yards per route run, the fifth-highest mark among tight ends. His PFF overall grade of 76.1 ranked 19th of 62 tight ends, and was his highest graded season since 2013.
  • Behind Reed and Davis on the depth chart lay veteran Niles Paul and fifth-round draft choice Jeremy Sprinkle. Paul is returning from an injury plagued two seasons, but reportedly looked sharp in OTA’s. He’s looking to return to 2014 form, where he ended the season averaging 1.82 yards per pass route run, which ranked him sixth among tight ends with 30 or more targets. Sprinkle ranked 13th in the 2017 tight end class with an 81.0 receiving grade in 2016, and his 1.8 yards per route run (which was above the FBS average of 1.3) ranked fifth in the SEC. His drop rate of 5.71 ranked him fourth of all tight ends in 2016.

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