Cole Turner - Commanders TE
Cole Turner has the most to prove in 2023. With Armani Rogers out, he becomes the one exciting prospect who can become a force as a downfield pass catcher.
Again, early reports are encouraging. Turner’s progress in his rookie campaign was slowed considerably by injury. He seems healthy now. And so we should all see just how good he can be.
BEST: Turner emerges as the Washington Commanders' top receiving tight end by the fifth game of the season. He plays in a lot of three-tight end sets early, and eventually becomes a starter. He catches 55 balls on the year for 800 receiving yards and eight touchdowns as a prime red zone target.
WORST: Ted Bolser.
With the Turner pick last year, the Commanders drafted tight ends in consecutive years for the first time since 2013/2014 when they got Jordan Reed and … that’s right, Indiana’s Ted Bolser. He never made an NFL roster and retired after a couple of injury-plagued years on practice squads.
Turner has already surpassed Bolser. But if he doesn’t begin producing by the midpoint of this season, he might succumb to a similar fate.
REALISTIC: Turner makes the team and does become a decent red zone and downfield target. He does not supplant Logan Thomas but he catches 25 balls – just enough to let fans imagine he could continue developing into a respectable starter in another year or two.
Washington is likely to keep four tight ends on the final roster and they only have five currently in camp. One of them – Brandon Dillon – has very little chance of making the roster without multiple injuries.
I firmly believe there will be at least one new tight end brought into camp before opening day, meaning both Curtis Hodges and Turner will have to show a lot of improvement to hold onto to their spots.
I think Turner does hold on, but Hodges is a 50/50 proposition.