It was no surprise that the Washington Football Team wanted to draft a tight end; the surprise was that they left Bre vin Jordan on the board and selected a little-known player from Boise State.
With Washington’s lack of depth at the tight end position, it was widely expected that the team would take a tight end between the 2nd and 4th rounds, and they did. Had they gone for this position in the second round, it would have been to select Pat Freiemuth, the Penn State tight end who was drafted by the Steelers at Pick #55, just 4 picks after the WFT selected OT Samuel Cosmi.
Once the draft entered Day 3, most pundits shifted their sights to Brevin Jordan, who had 105 catches and over 1,300 yards in a 3-year college career with the Miami Hurricanes, who was eventually drafted by the Texans early in the 5th round.
Instead, Washington drafted John Bates, tight end from Boise State with the 124th overall pick in the draft, midway through the 4th round.
Bates had limited production in his college career.
His best season came in 2019, when he had 22 catches for 273 yards, however he played only a partial season as a senior in 2020.
The Pro Football Network said this about him:
The Boise State tight end is best suited to join a team where the pressure to perform isn’t immense. Somewhere with a set TE1, who could use the extra boost of athletic ability in its depth chart. He’ll need a coaching staff willing to utilize his traits in space.
This sounds like a custom-made fit for Washington, where Logan Thomas is the established starting tight end, and Pete Hoener is a proven coach who knows how to get the best from players at the position. Washington has the kind of offense under Scott Turner that can use Bates’ skills as a blocker – and he is a good blocker. Take a look at these highlights:
But don’t let Bates’ limited production fool you; the fact that he was the 3rd or 4th option in the Boise passing attack doesn’t mean that he can’t catch.
Washington has proven over the past few seasons to be very good at drafting players in middle and late rounds who turn into contributors. In addition, tight end coach Pete Hoener, who was credited with identifying Logan Thomas as a priority free agent target a year ago, has shown the ability to both spot and develop tight end talent.
It appears that John Bates will have an excellent chance of making the 53-man roster in Washington and playing an integral role as a blocker and part-time pass catcher. He should be a good addition to the offensive attack.