WASHINGTON — If Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez were the prototype basketball players-turned-tight ends, Jordan Reed might be that next generation of what’s possible with a dynamic skill set.
The NFL continues its list of top-100 players and the Washington Redskins added another name to the list with Reed. Interviewing both friends and foes, the consensus was clear: Reed’s background in basketball is a big reason why he makes tough catches and why he’s so good with the ball in his hands.
Here is a sampling from the video segment:
Josh Norman: “Jordan is special. He is special. He has moves out of this world. It’s like on a basketball court or something.”
Vernon Davis: “He’s like a basketball player. I think it was against Green Bay, he crossed the guy on the outside, who went to the right. Jordan Reed went to the left and he exploded upfield. It seemed like he had a basketball in his hand.”
Duke Ihenacho: “He’s got the little shake. You see him shaking for like five seconds, so you don’t really know [where he’s going].”
Will Compton: “He’s like an NBA player out there.”
Vincent Rey, Bengals: “He don’t count, man, it’s not fair. He looks like he’s playing basketball when he’s running all those routes. You don’t even know what to do.”
Vontaze Burfict, Bengals: “I don’t even think he’s a tight end. He plays like a receiver. He’s so fast; he’s physical as well.”
Landon Collins, Giants: “He gives the feeling of being on an island by yourself and he’s about to get the ball and you know you need to make a play. You get that feeling in the back of your head, ‘You cannot mess up.'”
Nolan Carroll, Cowboys: “He’s got the nice little and-one move that he does out there.”
Reed discussed his background in basketball as a heavy influence for his style of play.
“If a guy is leaning on you [in basketball], if you give him a quick head and shoulders and footwork, you might get him to go that way,” Reed told the Washington Times. “I use the same type of principles on the field.”
“I feel like I can use that same kind of basketball stuff. They fall for the same kinds of moves, too.”
Over the last several seasons, Reed has emerged from the shadows as one of the best receiving threats in the NFL. In the process, he has become better at blocking, has prepared his body to prevent injuries, and developed a rapport with Kirk Cousins.
At this point, his ceiling is limitless.
“He’s very conscientious,” tight ends coach Wes Phillips said. “You see some of these guys that only catch passes and they really don’t touch anybody and they really look bad on tape and they really don’t care, and he’s not that guy.
“He cares and he wants to help the football team in every way.”