In a league now dominated by hybrid tight ends who force a defense to think twice about covering them with a safety or a linebacker, Jordan Reed can get lost in the shuffle. Guys like Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen cast an enormous shadow that Reed, the stud tight end for the Washington Redskins, is trying to step out from under.
Drafted by the Redskins out of Florida in 2013, Reed has made a steady climb to become a premier tight end. He caught 45 balls for just under 500 yards as a rookie, then saw his production drop as an NFL sophomore, due largely to instability at the quarterback position, as the team dealt with injuries and poor play from Robert Griffin III and attempted to keep the ship afloat with Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. With Cousins firmly in place as the team’s QB in 2015, Reed blossomed. He finished fifth in receiving yards among tight ends with 952 and tied for second in touchdowns with 11, as the Redskins won the NFC East.
If Reed’s off-season work is any indication, he’s poised to be an even bigger nightmare in 2016.
Working out with David Robinson, a trainer who’s helped guys like Emmanuel Sanders, Adrian Peterson and Ole Miss’s Laquon Treadwell, the top wideout in this year’s NFL Draft, Reed has spent a lot of time running routes in the sand down in Miami—workouts that not only increase his lower-body strength but also his ball skills, as the big tight end has had to fight hard to reach passes thrown wide of his immediate grasp.
It looks like Reed is also spending time perfecting his footwork using mini-cones. In the drills shown above, you can see how graceful and quick he is, devastating skills when you’re 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds like Reed.
If you weren’t hip to Reed up this point, you will be soon. We have a feeling he’s going to lead almost all tight end categories during the 2016 NFL season.