Austin Seferian-Jenkins declares for 2014 NFL Draft

Otto Greule Jr

The 2013 John Mackey Award winner is ready to take his talents to the NFL.

Washington Huskies tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the 2013 John Mackey Award winner for the nation's best tight end, is about to get paid.

After his Huskies beat BYU in Friday's Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl—a game in which Seferian-Jenkins caught three passes for 37 yards and a third-quarter score—the TE announced late Friday night that he was forgoing his senior year of eligibility to join the NFL draft.

Via the University of Washington:

Seferian-Jenkins' 2013 campaign disappointed, at least compared to his breakout 2012 season. His catches dipped from 69 to 36, and his yardage went from 852 yards to 450. He actually became more of a factor in the red zone, with eight of those 36 catches resulting in scores (compared to seven of 69 in 2012), but by and large the Washington passing game was effective with or without his help; Seferian-Jenkins never topped four catches in a game in 2013 except against FCS cupcake Idaho State (five catches).

Frankly, it's a travesty that he won the Mackey Award; Texas Tech Jace Amaro had 98 catches for 1,240 yards, both easily more than twice Seferian-Jenkins' totals, but for some reason he wasn't even selected as an award finalist. UNC's Eric Ebron did receive a selection, and Ebron was a much bigger factor in the Tar Heels' passing game than Seferian-Jenkins was for UW in 2013. Consider this: Seferian-Jenkins' season high for receiving yards was 62. Ebron topped that seven times this year.

Ah, but the NFL doesn't draft on past production, it drafts on future potential. And according to NFL.com, Jenkins received a second-round grade in his draft evaluation, which means his first-round dreams are, if nothing else, well within reach. Physically he's more than ready to go to the NFL; he stands 6'6" and weighs nearly 280 pounds, and he's got the agility and athleticism to play basketball, which he did in his freshman year at Washington. He's bulked up since then, but that's a skill set that has historically translated very well to the NFL; it's hard to blame Seferian-Jenkins for thinking it's time for him to make that leap.

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