Going up against linebackers and linemen that were 40 to 50 pounds heavier than him, Redskins TE Niles Paul knew he’d need to bulk up in order to become a better player at the position.
“I know an area I wanted to improve on a lot was blocking. I was always a willing blocker, but I was 230 pounds going against guys who were 260, 270, 280,” Paul told CSN Washington.com. “I just wanted to level out the playing field a little bit. And it has showed up on film out here [in OTAs]. I’ve been doing a good job.”
As it stands now, Paul currently weighs more than 250 pounds for the first time in his career. “I’m 252 right now,” he told reporters. “I feel good, and I feel healthy. I’m happy.”
“You know, he’s a converted wide received for goodness sakes and he’s busted his tail to get himself ready for the tight end spot,” head coach Jay Gruden said of Paul. “He’s stronger; he’s one of our most explosive players in the weight room, done some great things.”
Paul has had his moments with Jordan Reed sidelined. Last year, he caught 21 passes for 313 yards and a touchdown in the first four games with Reed out, and was the #9 TE in that span. But then he posted one-catch clunkers against the Seahawks in Week 5 and the 49ers in Week 12 with Reed sidelined. He's certainly a sleeper if Reed (knee) can't get healthy, but he hasn't been a consistent performer even with Reed out.