From a head-scratching draft selection to a rookie sensation, Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed experienced it all in his first season.
Appearing in nine games with four starts, Reed paced tight ends with 45 receptions for 499 yards and a trio of touchdowns.
Heading into his sophomore season, expectations are sky-high for what the 6-2, 243-pound pro can accomplish.
"He's very talented, very smooth. He's in and out of his cuts very effortlessly. Got great natural hands," head coach Jay Gruden gushed. "But you're right. The key is to keep him on the field."
Reed battled leg injuries at the end of his college career, and played through additional pain before a concussion ended his season prematurely.
While little can be done to prevent concussions, Gruden is confident that injury concerns are in the past, given the work the medical and training staffs have done with Reed.
"We did a great job. I think our medical staff did an excellent job with him, being very careful with him in that process," Gruden explained. "Hopefully he'll come back and be 100 percent.
"We've got to keep him on the field because he is very talented."
Talent and potential are big reasons why the Redskins were unable to pass on Reed at No. 85 last April, despite carrying a number of other needs.
Redskins scout Josh Washburn was part of the evaluation process on Reed, and recalled what the scouting staff liked so much about Reed.
"Coming in, everybody knew that he was a great athlete; that was out of the question. He was a former quarterback that could run, great size," Washburn told Redskins.com. "He wasn't really in the equation to begin with, but we felt like we just couldn't pass up on such a great prospect.
"He fell right to us and we couldn't be happier."
reed flourished under the tutlegage of now offensive coordinator Sean McVay in 2013, but will learn from Wes Phillips in 2014.
Phillips comes over from the Cowboys, where he had a hand in shaping Jason Witten into one of the most prolific receiving tight ends of his generation.
"I like Wes," Gruden said of Phillips. "Wes is obviously a good, experienced coach of one of the great tight ends in the NFL, Jason Witten.
"I like to pick his brain about how he taught [Witten], and bring that experience with him from Dallas, to coach Jordan Reed and [Logan] Paulsen.
"I think it will be a big benefit to those guys."
As the Redskins look to upgrade Robert Griffin III's receiving options this offseason, CBS Sports analyst Will Brinson counts Reed as the best receiver behind Pierre Garçon.
"You've got [Garçon] and Jordan Reed, and some of these younger guys who maybe haven't panned out perfectly yet," Brinson told Redskins.com "But you can go out and bring in some low-end veteran wide receivers."