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Gandy-Golden Moving to Tight End is Intriguing | Washington Commanders

Updated: May 11, 2023

By Adam Aniba

The competition at tight end for Washington is worth keeping an eye on during training camp, with a few names names in the mix. Recent reports have mentioned, Logan Thomas could be eased along slowly, after ACL surgery and might not be fully ready for the start of the season. After his Dec 17th surgery, Thomas had the following to say regarding his recovery, per CBS Sports Washington.

"We never put a projection on it. It's supposed to be a 10-month recovery from the time I had surgery, which would put us somewhere around Week 4. But the way I feel and the type of person I am, the type of competitor I am, I'm shooting for Week 1."

Second year TE John Bates, will be expected to take even more snaps at TE1 during training camp with Thomas still recovering. The former Boise State tight end is still a work in progress with high upside, recording 20 receptions for 249 yards and 1 TD during his rookie season.

Head Coach Ron Rivera, hired Juan Castillo to replace retired Pete Hoener as Washington's Tight Ends coach. Hoener did a stellar job as Rivera's position coach, working with Bates, Ricky Seals-Jones and Sammis Reyes after Thomas went down. Reyes will likely continue to be developed on the practice squad, barring injuries this season, so his contribution should be limited.

Seals-Jones in particular, was a valuable asset in the receiving game last season (30 rec for 271 yds 2 TDs), but has since signed with the Giants.

Rivera invested a 5th round selection (#149 overall) on Nevada tight end Cole Turner, who has tremendous size and upside as a red zone receiving threat. Although Turner adds another dimension to the group, he'll need time to acclimate and refine his game.

WIth improved tight end depth, fans should feel encouraged about the potential for the the group heading into the season. New QB Carson Wentz, will need as much fire power as he can get.

Lucky for Wentz, the WR group is deep. So deep in fact, former 4th round receiver Antonio Gandy Golden is making the switch to tight end. Although fans have seen this movie before, AGG has a ton of upside as a pass catcher.

Although many feel AGG has been a bust (career 1 rec for 3 yards & 1 rush for 22 yards), his potential contribution as a situational flex-tight end could be a better role. As a cerebral receiver, the former Liberty receiver utilizes his impressive catch radius to win contested jump balls. His ability to separate in the NFL, has been his achilles heel and why many productive college receivers don't have the same success on the next level.

As mentioned, Seals-Jones who's also a converted WR, played a valuable role in OC Scott Turner's offense and AGG could fill a similar role. Former Washington tight end Niles Paul, was also converted from WR by Rivera's predecessors with mixed results. AGG has a more athletic profile with a 36" vertical and boasts a 77" wingspan, but will go thru his share of growing pains during the transition. Also notable, Gandy-Golden put up 22 reps in the combine bench press.

It's been reported that Gandy-Golden has put on weight for the switch, after weighing 223 lbs during the NFL Combine. It would make sense for AGG to show up to camp in the low 240's. Pass/Run blocking likely won't be something that he'll be counted on to do, but he'll have to learn the nuances for blocking as a tight end regardless.

The ideal scenario for Washington's offense is for a healthy Logan Thomas to be ready for week #1. Rivera will likely go into the season with four tight ends, if there's any question that Thomas won't be ready or he if experiences any setbacks.

Although AGG's switch to tight end won't be the primary storyline of training camp, his potential impact could be insurance for the offense. Facing some of the better defenses in the NFL, will force Turner to show his innovation in the passing game and AGG could be an effective weapon.

Washington's passing game is expected to be better under their new $28 million signal caller, but providing Wentz with as many weapons as possible is imperative. Having multiple pass catching options behind Thomas, is a solid contingency plan by Rivera and could pay off in the long term.

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