The tight end position is one of the most underrated and underappreciated positions on the football field. These guys are asked to block defensive ends and linebackers as well as be able to run routes like a wide receiver. Tight ends are valuable assets to any offense, and luckily the Redskins have had some quality ends in their team’s history. Whether it be a dependable receiver like Jordan Reed or a blocking-end like Doc Walker, there have been plenty of quality tight ends in the burgundy and gold. In this article, I’m going to be continuing my top Redskins players series by ranking the best tight ends over the years in Washington Redskins history.
1. Jerry Smith
Smith spent his entire 13-year career in the burgundy and gold and is undoubtedly the greatest tight end in team history. Throughout his career, Smith revolutionized what it meant to be a tight end in the NFL. He was one of the first tight ends that was viewed more so as a receiver than a blocker. Smith tallied two Pro Bowl selections and one 1st Team All-Pro selection in 1969 for the ‘Skins. At the time of his retirement, Smith held the NFL record for most receiving touchdowns by a tight end all time.
2. Chris Cooley
If you are a Redskins fan, the chant of “Cooooollllleeeeyyyyy” should be quite familiar. Chris Cooley was a talented player and fan-favorite during his nine-year career in the burgundy and gold. He began his career as more of a fullback/H-back for the ‘Skins before he would ultimately become a Pro Bowl tight end. Cooley would be selected to back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2007 and 2008 and was a reliable target for Redskins QBs in the 2000s. Unfortunately, his career would ultimately be cut short thanks to injuries he sustained in his 2nd to last season. Today, he is still involved with the organization working for the Redskins radio broadcast.
3. Jordan Reed
Jordan Reed might be one of the biggest “what ifs” in Redskins history. After being selected by the Redskins out of Florida in 2013, Reed quickly showed his potential as a top receiving target. He was a wide receiver in a tight end’s body who could run routes and make spectacular catches with the best of them. His best season with the ‘Skins came in 2015 when he caught 87 passes for 952 yards and 11 TDs, and Reed was a one-time Pro Bowler with the team. Unfortunately, Reed was never able to see his full potential, as his career would be cut short by a series of injuries and concussions he would sustain throughout his career.
4. Don Warren
Primarily a blocking tight end, Warren spent his entire 14-year career with the Washington Redskins. Warren was never selected to a Pro Bowl in his career but was a significant contributor who played in his role to help the team win. He was apart of the famed “Hogs” offensive lines of the ‘80s and ‘90s and did win quite a bit in Washington. He joined the team in 1979 and was apart of all three Redskins Super Bowl Champion teams. Warren is a Redskins legend thanks to all his contributions to the team during their glory years.
5. Rick “Doc” Walker
Doc Walker is another tight end who was a member of the elite “Hogs” offensive line. Walker was primarily a blocker with the Redskins and was even less of a threat in the passing game than Don Warren. However, Walker was a crucial part of a Redskins team that would win the Super Bowl in 1982. The Redskins of the ‘80s and ‘90s were built on being able to run the ball, and having two quality blockers like Walker and Warren certainly helped the team’s success significantly. Walker would spend six seasons in Washington and currently covers the Redskins for local DC News sources.
6. Clint Didier
While Don Warren and Doc Walker were mainly blocking tight ends for the ‘Skins in the ‘80s, Clint Didier was the threat in the passing game. Didier played in Washington for six seasons from 1982 to 1987. He was a reliable target in the passing game for several years and helped the ‘Skins win Super Bowls XVII and XXII. His best season for the Redskins came in 1986 when he hauled in 34 receptions for 691 yards and four touchdowns.
7. Vernon Davis
Davis made a name for himself in San Francisco, where he was a two-time Pro Bowler and one of the best tight ends in the league during his prime. He would spend nine seasons there before being traded to the Broncos and ultimately sign with the Redskins for the final four seasons of his career. He would serve as a quality 2nd tight end and occasional starter whenever Jordan Reed was injured. Davis amassed 1,721 yards and eight touchdowns in his Redskins career and was loved by fans in his return to his home area in the DMV.
8. Fred Davis
Davis joined the Redskins in 2008 after being selected by the team in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. He would spend six seasons with the Redskins before his career was ended after he missed the 2014 season by violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. However, he was still a productive player during his years in Washington. Davis recorded four seasons of 300+ receiving yards, with his best season coming in 2011 when he caught 59 passes for 796 yards and three touchdowns.
9. Jean Fugett
After spending his first four seasons in the NFL with the division rival Dallas Cowboys, Fugett would join the ‘Skins in 1976 and spend his final four seasons there. Fugett was a capable receiving tight end, recording 1,460 yards and 21 touchdowns over his four years in Washington. His best season as a Redskin came in 1977 when he caught 36 passes for 631 yards and five touchdowns.
10. Terry Orr
Terry Orr was another Redskins tight end of the ‘80s and ‘90s used mostly for his blocking ability. However, he could also be an asset in the passing game, as evidenced by his 1992 season in which he hauled in 22 receptions for 356 yards and three touchdowns. Orr played seven seasons in Washington with a short stint with the Chargers in the middle of his career. He won two Super Bowls with the team and enjoyed a successful NFL career. His son Zach Orr was a linebacker for the Ravens from 2014-2016.
Who has the most yards from the TE position in Redskins history?
Jerry Smith. In his 13 years in the burgundy and gold, Smith gained 5,496 yards in his career. This is the most by a tight end in team history and is good enough for 7th all-time in Redskins history.
Who has the most touchdowns from the TE position in Redskins history?
Jerry Smith. At the time of his retirement, Smith held the NFL record for most touchdown receptions for a tight end in NFL history with 60. The next closest to Smith on this list is Chris Cooley, who hauled in 33 touchdowns for the ‘Skins in his career.
Who has the most catches from the TE position in Redskins history?
Chris Cooley. Surprisingly, Jerry Smith does not hold every Redskins career tight end receiving record. Cooley caught 429 passes in his career, while Smith caught 421 passes. Cooley could’ve made this a more considerable margin. However, he only hauled in nine passes in his final two seasons in the NFL.
Who has the longest catch by a TE in Redskins history?
Fred Dugan. In a game against the Philadelphia Eagles in 1962, Norm Snead hit Fred Dugan on a bomb of a pass for an 80-yard touchdown reception. The Redskins would lose this game 14-7, but to this day, that touchdown remains the longest catch by a tight end in team history.
Who has the most yards from a TE in a season in Redskins history?
Chris Cooley and Jerry Smith. Both players have recorded seasons with 849 yards receiving, good enough for most by a tight end in a single season in team history. Smith did this in 1967 while Cooley has done it twice in both the 2008 and 2010 seasons.
Who has the most touchdowns from a TE in a season in Redskins history?
Jerry Smith. He broke this record in 1967, the same season that he set the record for most yards by a tight end in a season in team history. Smith hauled in 12 touchdown receptions this year, another testament to his greatness at the position for the ‘Skins.
Who has the most receptions from a TE in a season in Redskins history?
Chris Cooley. In 2008, Cooley caught 83 passes for 849 yards and one touchdown. He earned a nod to the Pro Bowl for his efforts this season, and his 83 catches were good enough to break Jerry Smith’s record of 67 catches in 1967.