The tight end position for the Washington Football Team has been a year-to-year operation.
Jordan Reed burst onto the scene as one of the best at the position but struggled with injuries and this ultimately ended his tenure in Washington. Veteran Vernon Davis was able to bridge a gap at tight end and now, the WFT is relying on Logan Thomas.
Washington signed Thomas to a two-year deal prior to the 2020 season. Thomas, a former quarterback at Virginia Tech, made the transition to tight end and this made him a huge question mark. Last season, Thomas put up his best statistical season and did it by a long shot.
Thomas had not surpassed 16 catches in any season. In 2020, he finished with 72 catches for 670 yards and six touchdowns. The 6-foot-6 tight end solidified himself as a legitimate weapon within the offense. He began to take off a bit when Alex Smith took over under center and that success should continue with Ryan Fitzpatrick.
When discussing weapons in Washington, Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson sit at the top of the list. Thomas has to be mentioned as well but what is behind him on the depth chart?
Jeremy Sprinkle is now with the Dallas Cowboys and there will be some new faces at tight end in Washington.
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The lock to be the backup seems to be rookie John Bates. Washington drafted Bates in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of Boise State. After a successful career in college, Bates could only improve once he gets to the next level.
Bates has great size at 6-foot-6 and 256 pounds. He is an incredible athlete and comes with versatility. Bates can block and act as a pass catcher when needed. At 23 years old, Bates has a chance to be a breakout star for Washington in the upcoming years. Bates will be No. 2 on the depth chart and there will be a battle beyond that, if Washington carries three tight ends.
The two likely candidates seem to be Ricky Seals-Jones and Temarrick Hemingway. Seals-Jones signed a one-year deal with the WFT after spending 2020 with the Kansas City Chiefs. Hemingway has been in and out of the league since 2016. He spent last season with Washington and appeared in eight games making just one catch.
At this moment, the edge has to go to Seals-Jones. He logged a career-high 34 catches in 2018 with the Arizona Cardinals and finished with 229 yards four touchdowns in 2019 with the Cleveland Browns. In Washington, Seals-Jones will likely be used as a blocker in certain situations.
Thomas has a chance to solidify himself as an elite threat at the tight-end position in 2021. For at least one more year, Washington is set with its No. 1 tight end. Depth will continue to be an issue unless Bates contributes right away.
In 2021, the depth chart will begin with Thomas and continue with Bates. There will be a bit of a competition for No. 3 but Seals-Jones holds an edge. The offensive side of the ball in D.C. will be much improved and that will continue to be the case as long as there is production at tight end.
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