Roster Projection: Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle
Roster Locks: Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle
Offseason Sleepers: Manasseh Garner, Matt Flanagan
The tight end position appears to be fairly set, barring any major changes by the Washington Redskins. Jordan Reed is the starter, and they expect him to finally be healthy this year. Whether that expectation comes to fruition is a different story.
As the No. 2 tight end, the Washington Redskins can rely on veteran tight end Vernon Davis for a while longer. He’s 34 years old, and nearing the end of his career arc. But he appears to still have juice left in the tank. It will be interesting to see how Davis and Alex Smith play together after reuniting in D.C. to re-enact their glory days in San Francisco.
Behind those two, Jeremy Sprinkle, a second-year pro out of Arkansas, is the final lock. With his blocking prowess and athletic upside, Sprinkle is an essential piece to a fragile tight end unit. He was already an anchor as a run blocker, and he could develop as a pass catcher this season. With Reed and Davis not guaranteed to return in 2018, that would inflate Sprinkle’s value exponentially.
The team, at this point in time, seems likely to keep three tight ends, but players like Manasseh Garner and Matt Flanagan, two former Pittsburgh Panthers, should not be forgotten as possible fourth tight ends. Garner has the size to contribute in a Niles Paul-esque role, while Flanagan is not only larger, but also three years younger. Neither is particularly likely to make it, but keep an eye on Flanagan; he has the measurables and reputation as a blocker that the team needs.