5 free-agent tight ends the Commanders could sign in 2023

(Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports) Foster Moreau
(Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports) Foster Moreau /
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(Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. /

Commanders could sign Irv Smith Jr.

After an incredible junior year at Alabama, Irv Smith Jr. came into the NFL with huge expectations that he has not come anywhere close to yet.

Smith is only 24 years old and will likely be hitting the free agent market as T.J. Hockenson has replaced him atop the Minnesota Vikings’ tight end depth chart. This is a good opportunity for the young player to sign a one-year, prove-it deal with a team in hopes of finding his footing again.

At 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, Smith is considered undersized for tight ends. Although he makes up for it with good route-running and run-blocking but is not yet fully polished anywhere.

This makes him a project, to a certain extent. But much will depend on whether or not the former second-round selection can stay healthy after suffering some severe complications over the last two seasons.

With that being said, Smith’s ceiling is still technically quite high. The Washington Commanders have an opportunity to pick him up for cheap in hopes Eric Bieniemy can help the player finally start reaching his unquestioned potential.

Smith is definitely one of the most interesting tight-end prospects available this year due to his potential upside. Whether it’s a gamble the Commanders are willing to make is another matter entirely.