Jordan Reed is shown during day one of the Redskins Mini Camp in June. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

RICHMOND – The optimism of training camp – all that new-beginnings stuff – often inspires bold predictions. The last time the Washington Redskins were preparing for a season, someone actually wrote they would have a 12-4 record.

But when tight end Niles Paul offers his opinion about tight end Jordan Reed, he doesn’t sound crazy. He seems on point.

“That’s a Pro Bowl tight end right there,” Paul said, pointing toward Reed as he left the field here after practice Friday. “Mark my words: He will be a Pro Bowler.”

Reed impressed as a rookie last fall, finishing second on the team with 45 receptions for 499 yards (an 11.1-yard average) in a season cut short because of concussion problems. With three touchdown receptions, he was tied for second.

The third-round pick from Florida was sensational in a Week 7 victory over the Chicago Bears, catching nine passes for 134 yards – the highest totals for a Redskins rookie tight end – and a touchdown. Reed worked out like a beast in the offseason, “and I know he did because I was right there working with him,” Paul said. “I tell him I love the way he works.

“For a guy to be so talented and work so hard, you have to respect that. I work hard. I’m just not as gifted as him.”

In the NFL, New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham is second to none. The all-pro recently received a $12 million signing bonus as part of a contract that guarantees him about $21 million. How does Reed compare to Graham?

“They’re a little bit different,” offensive coordinator Sean McVay said. “Jimmy is a little bit bigger guy. But Jordan is also very talented.

“When you have a tight end who has the ability to move around … that gives you a lot of versatility as a coaching staff. But Jimmy Graham is the measuring stick.”

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

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