The Washington Redskins had a rough year in regards to the health at the tight end position. While they certainly have a star and easily one of the best players at the position in the league in Jordan Reed. In a league where manipulating the middle of the field separates the good teams from great, two tight ends sets are imperative. The Patriots acquired Martellus Bennett this offseason via trade from Chicago to pair with Rob Gronkowski, Washington’s added another player to compete for the role opposite of Reed in the veteran Davis.
Davis just one a championship as a member of the Denver Broncos last season, a primary option as a pass catcher during his time in San Francisco, he played more of blocking role for Denver. Many have wondered about his lack of touches throughout the postseason, but he was an integral piece of their run game. There have been a few reports that stated that the reason for his lack of production in the passing game was his failure to grasp the intricate system of checks with Peyton Manning, especially as late in the year that he joined the team. Whether that’s true or not, Davis shouldn’t have an issue carving out a role in Gruden’s offense here in Washington.
During a five-year stretch in the Bay, he was one of the league’s if not the league’s most dangerous threat vertically at the position. In 2009 and 2013 he scored 13 touchdowns as the primary tight end. Davis posted one of the fastest 40 times at his position in Combine history (in the 4.3s), even at this stage there’s solid speed. He’s become a solid route-runner over his career, not nearly as good as Reed, but above average for the second member of a two tight end set. He was one of the better players at attacking the seam during his prime years in San Francisco.
Davis will also bring a veteran leader to the locker room, especially with a few of those players no longer on the roster due to Free Agency like Terrance Knighton or DaShon Goldson. Early in his career, he was a horrible blocker if he chose to try. Since then, he’s become one of the better blockers at his position. Vernon should be able to accelerate the development of that part of Jordan’s game.
If Davis has anything left in the tank to contribute in the passing game, he and Reed could possibly become one of the league’s top duos. Much of that still depends on the quarterback taking advantage of them both, but it could give Washington three legitimate players at the position.
There’s not many, especially with it being a one year deal. If in fact, Davis has little to nothing left in terms of contributing to the passing game, it’s fine. There’s still Niles Paul and Derrek Carrier who are coming off injuries, he could still help in their development. For a Washington run game that struggled last season, worst case scenario and Davis is nothing more than a blocker, he is automatically the best blocker at the position.
All in all, it was a solid deal for Washington. The epitome of a low risk, high reward deal. Of course, only time will tell how much of a role Vernon plays for Washington this upcoming season.