Commanders doing their ‘due diligence’ on tight ends at 2023 NFL combine
The Washington Commanders love the tight ends currently on their roster. In addition to veteran Logan Thomas, the Commanders have John Bates [3rd year] and three second-year players at the position [Armani Rogers, Cole Turner, Curtis Hodges].
During a session with some local reporters at the NFL combine last week, head coach Ron Rivera praised Washington’s tight ends, specifically Thomas. There were questions surrounding Thomas and if he’d be back in 2023 due to his age, cap number and struggles last season.
Rivera praised Thomas, noting how he was coming back from an ACL injury last season and, toward the end of the season, was beginning to look like the player from 2020.
Rivera also mentioned each of the young tight ends.
That didn’t stop him and Washington’s brass from doing their “due diligence” on the tight end position at the NFL combine, according to Ryan Fowler of The Draft Network.
The Commanders have done their due diligence at the TE spot here in Indy.
They’ve held formals with Darnell Washington (Georgia), Tucker Kraft (South Dakota State) & Brenton Strange (Penn State).
Athletic talents that can play the Y/F.
— Ryan Fowler (@_RyanFowler_) March 3, 2023
The Commanders pick No. 16 in the 2023 NFL draft. In a tight end class that is considered one of the best in recent memory, they’ll have their choice of tight ends, with the possible exception being Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer, who could go in the top 15.
However, while Washington is checking out tight ends, one in the first round is likely not under consideration. A cornerback or offensive lineman remains the top bet for the Commanders in the first round.
Now, if Washington trades back or looks at a tight end in the second round, someone like Darnell Washington — if he doesn’t go in round one — Tucker Kraft or Sam LaPorta could be options.
While Rivera may be happy with Washington’s tight ends, perhaps new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy thinks the Commanders need more. That interest makes sense. Remember, Bieniemy comes from an offense where he coached the NFL’s best tight end, Travis Kelce.