Over the next few weeks, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will be taking a close look at the Redskins’ depth chart, dissecting each position.
Some spots are straightforward. Others are more complicated. This much, however, is not up for debate: A player is not on the 53-man roster until the final cuts are made.
So who’s the odds-on favorite to start? And who’s in trouble? Up today …
Position: Tight end
On the roster: Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul, Ted Bolser
Likely to make the 53: Reed, Paulsen, Paul
Comment: Big things are expected out of Reed as he goes into his second NFL season. The anticipation is that he will either gain 1,000 yards receiving or he will draw enough attention away from the outside receivers to help Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson have big seasons. He won’t just contribute in the passing game; his run blocking was solid last year and he is working to get better.
There was a lot of talk that Jay Gruden would want to upgrade the second tight end spot but it didn’t happen. Paulsen has been the started tight end for the latter parts of each of the last three seasons. He came in last year after Reed’s concussion, in 2012 after Fred Davis tore his Achilles tendon, and the year before that after Davis’ drug suspension. Paulsen also is a valuable contributor on special teams.
Special teams are Paul’s calling card. He could be selected to be the captain of those units. Any production he has on offense will be a bonus.
Battling for a job: Bolser
Comment: The Redskins carried four tight ends on the 53-man roster last year and while you can’t rule it out this year it seems that Bolser, their seventh-round pick, will end up on the practice squad. He has a lot to learn.
Gruden did say right after the draft that special teams was a strong suit of Bolser’s and that will be his ticket onto the 53 if he can excel in coverage during the preseason.