The Washington Commanders added a big body at tight end in the 5th round with the selection of Nevada’s Cole Turner.
At 6-foot-6 and almost 250 lbs., Turner has the size to play immediately in the NFL. Over the last two seasons for the Wolfpack Turner combined for nearly 1,300 yards and 19 touchdowns. He enrolled at Nevada to play wideout, but after two seasons switched to tight end and received conference honors as both a junior and senior.
Some talent evaluators pegged Turner as a sixth or seventh-rounder, but one common theme throughout Washington’s 2022 draft is taking picks ahead of projections.
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Making a move to add a tight end should come as no surprise as Washington has some level of need at the position. Starter Logan Thomas injured his knee last December and it’s unclear when he will be healthy enough to return.
After Thomas, the Commanders have 2021 fourth-rounder John Bates and undrafted international pathway player Sammis Reyes.
Bates proved to be capable last season, grabbing 20 catches for almost 250 yards with a touchdown, but he’s hardly dynamic. Reyes is extremely raw, and barely played on offense while logging no catches.
As an offensive threat, Turner is more polished than Bates or Reyes, though there will be real questions about the rookie's ability to block in the NFL.
Washington drafted Turner after moving back in the fourth round for a pair of fifth-round picks. It seems unlikely Turner will be the headliner of the fifth round, after all Washington selected UNC QB Sam Howell just five picks earlier.