Washington's TE coach sees Logan Thomas among the top 'complete tight ends'

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WFT's TE coach sees Logan Thomas among best 'complete' TEs originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

For the Washington Football Team -- and every other franchise in the NFL -- the dream is to have an all-around tight end, a player who has an impact on the offense whether it's a run or a pass play.

Washington tight ends coach Pete Hoener refers to it with a simple phrase: “Well I think the first thing you look for in any prospect in that position is 'complete tight end traits.'

“That’s a tight end that is not only a heck of a receiver but is a heck of a pass protector," Hoener said. "Being able to block the best defensive end. He’s a heck of a run blocker…so these guys are part o-linemen and part receivers.”

Last offseason, when Washington was looking for an answer at a position that had been inconsistent for years, Logan Thomas was someone that showed potential to fit the mold of a complete tight end. His physical traits stood out immediately, and there were flashes of an ability to succeed at tight end.

Really the only thing missing was an extensive amount of tape, as Thomas was still fairly new to the position after spending college and his early pro time as a quarterback.

“You saw him on tape have first-step quickness, speed out of his breaks at times," Hoener said. "He was just a guy that never got to play much, that didn’t fit in wherever he was before. He certainly had the traits that we’re looking for for a complete tight end.”

Washington saw the upside and decided to take a risk. It paid off handsomely in Year 1.

With 72 receptions for 670 yards and six touchdowns, Thomas not only showed he was capable of being an NFL tight end, but he demonstrated that he could do it at a high level. The production was there, as was his ability to block opposing defenders.

Thomas emerged as Hoener's vision of a complete tight end. More than that, the position coach now views him as one of the best in the game.

“I think right now, when I talk about a complete tight end, he’s got to be in the top five, six or seven in the league," Hoener said. "As far as the way he blocks, his total attitude as a real pro, his leadership qualities, and then his production as a receiver obviously is proven now. And I just look for that to keep going up and up.”

His impact on offense is what led Hoener to make such a statement, as did his stability. Having a consistent option at tight end -- or in the passing game in general -- had been hard to come by in recent years. Thomas changed that.

“He played in over 1,000 plays and was out there in every game," Hoener said. "As far as, probably, the most reliable offensive player and dependable player that we had on the team last year.”

Hoener doesn't believe that is the ceiling for Thomas either. The pass-catcher is still young in terms of his experience at tight end, and as he gets more reps, there is an opportunity to grow even more. That's already been demonstrated early in OTAs through his route running and quickness out of breaks.

Washington succeeded in its search for a complete tight end by landing Thomas. The No. 1 option at the position is stable and can produce. Now, the goal is to find depth behind him that also brings the total package. It won't be easy, well, unless Washington has a cloning machine available.

“In the ideal world, you want three Logan Thomas’ out there," Hoener said.