The Redskins are 5 games in their 2013 season, and so far they haven’t gotten a lot of production out of their rookie class. Now that isn’t terribly surprising considering the Redskins didn’t have a 1st round pick due to the RGIII trade and 4th rounder Phillip Thomas is out for the year with an injury. While it isn’t surprising the Redskins desperately needed this draft to fill multiple holes since they were so limited in free agency. Now this is just five games so this isn’t necessarily proof on the long term future of these players and the success of these picks. What five games does show us is what we should expect for the final 11 weeks of the season. Second rounder David Amerson was first up, next will be 3rd round pick Jordan Reed:
The Good: Reed has made impressive plays in each of the four games he’s played in this season, and has a line of 17 catches for 164 yards and 1 TD. Despite missing a game, Reed is tied for 2nd on the team in receptions and is 4th in yardage. He’s quickly becoming a focal point of the passing game, and has taken over the top tight end role from Fred Davis. Reed has done a great job of consistently getting open and being that reliable target for Griffin to dump the ball off too.
Reed has easily been the Redskins biggest bright spot, not just among rookies but probably among the entire team this year. Reed has done a good amount of damage for the amount of time he’s out on the field, so the more they can utilize him the better off this team will be. He has gotten better each and every game, and has really earned a significant role on this team.
The Bad: Reed’s blocking is still a work in progress, though it has probably been better than expected. While he still misses some crucial blocks each game, he appears to be getting better and more consistent each week. He’s never going to be a great blocker, but if he can be average or even slightly below average the Redskins can live with him more on running downs.
The only other knock on Reed is the injury question. Reed missed all of the OTA’s and mini-camps due to a quad injury (though it appears it didn’t set him back much) and then suffered another quad injury in the Lions game which forced him out and had him miss the next week. Hopefully these are isolated incidents and not any sort of future trend.
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Going Forward: Reed will be taking on a larger and larger role as the season wears on, and could be among the top three in catches and yards this year. Reed has all but replaced former 2nd round pick Fred Davis, and should be considered a high upside tight end going forward. The blocking is an issue, particularly if the Redskins try to get back to running the football more often, but it shouldn’t be too prohibitive of an issue.
With Reed’s ascension as a weapon he will start to see a greater focus by the defense. How he responds to that, and produces when the defense focuses on him will be the biggest test to watch going forward. It could limit Reed some, but with Reed’s athletic ability he’s going to be a tough match-up for a number teams to stop. Also, if Reed is getting more attention that should hopefully open things up for someone else to produce.