30 Questions: Will Jordan Reed make the Pro Bowl?
With a new head coach, some intriguing free agents and a quarterback on the comeback trail, the 2014 Redskins are loaded with storylines. Between now and the start of training camp, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir will be examining the top 30 questions the Redskins face as they get ready for the season.
Will Jordan Reed make the Pro Bowl?
A year ago, not much was expected out of rookie tight end Jordan Reed, the Redskins’ third-round pick. He had to compete with Fred Davis for playing time and he had missed much of the offseason program with a lingering injury. Fast-forward to this year and you have very high expectations after Reed caught 45 passes for 499 yards and three touchdowns in nine games in 2013, solid numbers even if he hadn’t missed seven games due to injuries. Are Reed’s 2014 prospects so good that he has a shot at making the Pro Bowl?
Tandler: If he stays healthy, Reed is certainly capable of a Pro Bowl caliber season. A reasonable projection would be 80 receptions for around 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. But putting up the numbers is only part of the battle when it comes to getting the trip to Arizona (it’s being played at the site of the Super Bowl this year, not Hawaii). Reed will have to get the nod over other, more established players to get one of those Pro Bowl roster spots. Fortunately, automatic annual selection Tony Gonzalez is retiring, which could create an opening that Reed could step into. But with the non-conferenced format he still has to get past the likes of Jason Witten, Jordan Cameron, Vernon Davis, and Julius Thomas. And since players on winning teams have an edge in getting their individual players honored, the Redskins can’t go 3-13 again and expect Reed to break through with a Pro Bowl roster spot. If Reed stays healthy and the Redskins can contend in the NFL East he has a good shot at trip to Honolu—, uh, Glendale.
El-Bashir: I have my doubts, and it's got nothing to do with Reed's ability. I just think too much has to happen. In addition to needing to stay healthy, play on a winning team and beat out established stars such as Witten, Cameron, Davis, etc., Reed will also need to put up top tier numbers. And I’m not sure that’s going to be possible given the influx of pass catching talent on the Redskins’ roster. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: there’s only one football to go around. Redskins’ quarterbacks completed 355 passes in 2013. Let’s say that number grows to 360 in 2014 (which would put the Skins in the top half of the NFL in that category). You have to imagine Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts will account for 220 (give or take) of those receptions (90+80+50?). That leaves 140 (or so) to be divided among Reed, the No. 4, 5 and 6 wide outs, pass catching running back Roy Helu, No. 2 tight end Logan Paulsen and everyone else, including backs Alfred Morris and Darrel Young. Last year, Paulsen, Helu and Morris accounted for almost 70 by themselves. In other words, as good as Reed is, I suspect he’ll have a difficult time amassing the 80-plus receptions and/or 1,000 yards he would need to garner a Pro Bowl berth.