Over the next few weeks, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ depth chart.
Some battles are straightforward. Others could get complicated. This much, however, cannot be debated: A player is not on the 53-man roster until its finalized Aug 31.
So who’s in? And who’s in jeopardy? Up today …
Position: Tight end
On the roster: Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, Jordan Reed, Emmanuel Ogbuehi
Likely to make the 53: Davis, Paulsen, Paul, Reed
Comment: There are many great battles for roster spots and starting jobs that will be played out over the course of training camp. This is not one of them. This cake has been baked since draft night when Mike Shanahan said the team will carry four tight ends shortly after the team drafted Jordan Reed in the third round.
Davis, who through the miracles of modern medicine should be ready to go for the start of camp about nine months after tearing his Achilles, will be the starter. The 27-year-old is working on a one-year contract and it is important to both him and to the team for him to have a good season.
Paulsen started nine games after Davis went out last year. He is not going to keep defensive coordinators late at work trying to figure out ways to contain him but he is dependable, he blocks well, and he is always where he is supposed to be when he runs a pattern. In short, he’s the ideal backup tight end.
Paul converted from wide receiver to tight end last year and he had some difficulties with the adjustment and, at times, with the simple act of catching the ball. He had only eight receptions all year but his value on special teams will ensure that he stays around.
Mike Shanahan said that the Redskins did not go into the draft intending to take a tight end but when Reed was still on the board in the third round they decided he was too talented to pass up. He will not line up as a traditional in-line tight end much as he will have to refine his blocking techniques.
Battling for a job: Ogbuehi
Comment: It will be a tough go for the rookie free agent out of Georgia State. Even if one of the top four at the position suffered an injury Ogbuehi would still be a long shot to make the roster.