Austin Seferian-Jenkins | 6'6, 267 pounds | Tight end | Washington | Junior
2012 Stats: 69 catches, 852 yards, 7 touchdowns
He's only been at the University of Washington for two seasons, but Austin Seferian-Jenkins is already rewriting the record books. Seferian-Jenkins already holds the records for most career receptions, yards and touchdowns for a tight end in school history, and he's not done yet.
In an offense that is loaded with potential but hasn't quite produced as expected, Seferian-Jenkins has lived up to the billing after being a talented recruit a few year ago.
There is one thing impeding Seferian-Jenkins from further progress, however. Back in April, he was arrested for a DUI. He has been suspended indefinitely from the program, and his status will be uncertain until he appears in court. That incident clouds his immediate future, but provided he stays out of further trouble, Seferian-Jenkins should maintain his enormous NFL potential.
What he does well
Seferian-Jenkins immediately jumps off the screen due to his size and how well he moves given that size. He doesn't have blazing speed, but Seferian-Jenkins shows smooth athleticism when running his routes and the explosiveness to get down the field in a hurry. He's even spent time lined up at defensive end, a testament to his athletic versatility.
At 6-feet-6-inches tall and just under 270 pounds, Seferian-Jenkins is massive. He uses that size to his advantage, effectively boxing out defenders and consistently gets advantageous body position all over the field. In many ways, Seferian-Jenkins plays tight end like a low post man in basketball, which makes sense given his background in the sport. He became the 19th athlete to play both football and basketball for Washington.
Seferian-Jenkins' time on the court has helped him understand not only how to gain body position but how to track the football and come down with contested passes. He high-points the football with ease and isn't bothered by contact. Seferian-Jenkins also presents his quarterback with a massive catch radius, which makes him an easy target. He also shows solid body control given his size.
As a blocker, Seferian-Jenkins is willing and able to stick his nose in and be physical. He's at his best in this area when he's able to get out in space and generate some momentum. He's comfortable engaging defenders while on the move and understands how to angle would-be tacklers out of the play.
What he needs to improve on
Seferian-Jenkins' shortcomings are in the details of the game. There were a handful of occasions in which Seferian-Jenkins ran his route a bit short or didn't have the proper awareness of where he was on the field. These was an infrequent occurrence but one that's worth noting.
As a blocker, there are a few areas in which Seferian-Jenkins could improve. For one, he gets pushed off the ball too often and struggles to hold his ground. He doesn't bend quite enough to use his length to his advantage. Most of his struggles as a blocker have come against defensive ends, though. No tight end can be expected to consistently hold off the other team's best pass rusher. But given Seferian-Jenkins' physical ability and size, he has massive upside as a blocker if he can refine his technique a bit.
During the pre-draft process, teams and media alike will pick apart Seferian-Jenkins for his DUI. How he responds int the coming season will show something about his maturity. If he is able to successfully put the issue behind him, it will be a minor negative. It's up to him to prove himself all over again.
Seferian-Jenkins is a balanced tight end who could come into the league and make a difference right away in the NFL. In an age where tight ends are becoming a bigger version of wide receivers, Seferian-Jenkins shows the ability and willingness to block to go along with his talents as a pass catcher. If he stays out of trouble, he could be the next first round tight end.
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