Remember when tight ends were just extra blockers? Like wide receivers in linebacker bodies, tight ends were primarily used as in-line and downfield blockers to help improve the run game.
With NFL names such as Travis Kelce, George Kittle and Darren Waller now showing their skills in the open field, the position has expanded from “last target” to “security blanket” to “true weapon” on offense.
Does the Washington Football Team have that weapon in Logan Thomas?
Thomas, 29, who was drafted out of Virginia Tech as a quarterback, still is coming into his own at the new role. Sure, he transitioned to the position during his time in Buffalo, but logically, it takes time to train the brain to change from throwing a pass to catching one.
WFT tight end coach Pete Hoener knows there's room for growth, but he sees Thomas as one of the more "complete" tight ends entering minicamp.
“I think right now, when I talk about a complete tight end, he’s got to be in the top five, six or seven in the league," Hoener said. "As far as the way he blocks, his total attitude as a real pro, his leadership qualities, and then his production as a receiver obviously is proven now. And I just look for that to keep going up and up.”
Thomas improved as a blocker thanks to his larger frame. The flashes were always there, but maybe the tape never jumped out.
Last fall, Thomas added to the tape.
Washington's offense was hit-and-miss for most of the campaign under coach Ron Rivera. One of the few consistent players was Thomas, who acted as a go-to target for all four quarterbacks on the way to a 7-9 finish.
Pay Days: Who Gets Washington's Next New Contract?
After lucrative deals to Jonathan Allen and Logan Thomas, who should WFT lock up next?
Roster Locks: Which WFT Players Make Team on Offense
Washington's Training Camp Will Have Competition, But these 15 Spots Are Guaranteed
Washington BREAKING: WR Curtis Samuel Injury Update, Roster Move - NFL Tracker
Updated by the minute, our Washington Football Team 2021 NFL Offseason Tracker: News and views on the roster-building effort
“You saw him on tape have first-step quickness, speed out of his breaks at times," Hoener said. "He was just a guy that never got to play much, that didn’t fit in wherever he was before. He certainly had the traits that we’re looking for for a complete tight end.”
READ MORE: Aaron Rodgers Trade? Where Does WFT Rank?
Last year, Thomas showed his growth as a receiver, hauling in a career-best 72 receptions for 670 yards and six touchdowns. On top of that? He excelled as a blocker, closing the gap to help expand the rushing attack.
“He played in over 1,000 plays and was out there in every game," Hoener said, calling him “the most reliable offensive player and dependable player that we had on the team last year.”
What's the ceiling for Thomas? Hoener can't see one. Instead, the sky is the limit as year by year, another trait has been added to his utility belt.
Soon, it will be hard to image Thomas not earning a consensus top-10 nod at the position.
As June begins, Washington will take another step toward building off a division-winning season. Another year, another quarterback has entered the mix. This time, Thomas will be hopefully one of several weapons that will surpass 70 catches with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center.
Washington took a risk adding a relative unknown in Thomas as its lead tight end. Now, Hoener wants all his players to mirror him and his success.
“In the ideal world, you want three Logan Thomas’ out there," Hoener said.
CONTINUE READING: Julio Jones trade Impact On Washington Football Team