It should come as no surprise that the Washington Commanders have added more players on offense this off-season than on defense. Neither unit finished in the top 20 in the NFL in 2021, but Washington has invested far more draft capital in the defense over the past five seasons. Prior to this year’s draft, five of the last six number one draft picks have been defensive players.
Of the 30 players currently on the Washington Commanders roster added after the finish of the 2021 season, 17 play offense. With so many new players, we’ll split this in two – today we’ll look at the tight ends and linemen. Next time, the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers.
Analyzing the Commanders’ offensive newcomers
Curtis Hodges, TE, 6’8”, 240, 22 years old: signed as UDFA, 5/2
Ron Rivera has maintained a steady stream of developmental tight ends during his time in Washington. Though few of these players get more than a cup of coffee in the regular season, he and Scott Turner have shown a willingness to give some athletically gifted prospects time to hone their skills on the practice squad. Hodges certainly has intriguing attributes. Enormous length and wingspan, he was a WR for most of his career. Injuries plagued him throughout college, but if he can stay healthy and show steady improvement, there might be a place for him down the road.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Practice squad. And injury-free.
Armani Rogers, TE, 6’5”, 225, 24 years old: signed as UDFA 5/2
The Washington Commanders struck gold with Logan Thomas, so why not do it again? Rogers was a very good running quarterback at Ohio, whose size and athleticism have Washington giving him a shot at tight end. It took Thomas several years to make a similar transition, but once he did, it became apparent that his time at quarterback gave him a view of the game that benefitted him as a pass catcher. I have a feeling that with a few breaks, Rogers could prove successful as an NFL tight end, but that success is probably at least three years down the road.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Practice squad. And a secondary role as Logan Thomas’ little brother.
Cole Turner, TE, 6’6”, 240, 22 years old: drafted in 5th round, 2022, signed 5/6
Ricky Seals-Jones proved to be a decent fill-in for Logan Thomas after the starter went down with multiple injuries in 2021. Seals-Jones has moved on, and with 2nd year player John Bates viewed more as a two-way tight end, and Thomas’ recovery still uncertain, there could be room for a talented pass catching tight end. Turner may be able to fill that role. He can get downfield in the seam and his length makes him a strong red zone target. As recently reported, he has shown up quite well in the OTAs.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Backing up a mostly healthy Logan Thomas, 25 catches, 325 yards, 4 TDs