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Scouting Report: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

Scouting Report: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

This dude is big and bad
By: Pete Davidson : April 30, 2014 7:06am

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Today’s prospect, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, has a lot of ability and he plays a highly sought after position in today’s NFL. The big tight end from Washington is a potentially devastating red zone weapon at the next level and he could develop into a very solid blocker as well. There’s no doubt that Seferian-Jenkins has a lot to offer NFL teams, but what kind of tight end he develops into, and his fantasy upside are open issues.

The former Washington standout has a lot of ability as a blocker and as a receiver, and depending how his various skills develop over time he could become a very good NFL player. His ability and upside as a blocker has the potential to limit his offensive output depending on what team he goes to. This is something to watch for sure. Obviously, for fantasy purposes, we like tight ends to be used like Jimmy Graham or Dennis Pitta--lining up detached, in the slot or outside.

Seferian-Jenkins has the skills to go in either direction. He could be a blocking tight end and he could be an offensive one or a mix of the two, which I think is most likely. The team he goes to and how they choose to use their tight ends will also be a big factor.

This player has some very rare and very desirable physical attributes. The issue I have with Austin is his effort on a play-to-play basis. You’ve heard me gush this about high-motor players like Paul Richardson, Quincy Enunwa, Cody Latimer and Jared Abbrederis. Perhaps I am spoiled by watching those players, but I found Seferian-Jenkins’ effort to be less than ideal at times. I want to see more fire, as I saw when I broke down Blake Annen’s tape. Seferian-Jenkins will need to play with more consistent effort and focus to be a legitimate force at the next level.

There is one other red flag with Austin, which also related to character. Last Spring, he was charged and later pled guilty to DUI. The National Football Post did a decent write-up on ASJ’s off-field incident.  I haven’t been able to find anything else that would shed more light on the situation than that. In these situations, we tend to draft behind the NFL, because they have total access to these guys. If he tumbles down boards on draft day, that’s a red flag.

Let’s take a look at ASJ’s Combine numbers.

  • Height - 6’5”
  • Weight - 262
  • Arms - 33 3/4”
  • Hands - 9 3/4”
  • Bench Press - 28 reps

That’s all Austin was able to do after his physical turned up a stress fracture in his foot. The injury also cost ASJ a chance at participating in Washington’s Pro Day.

While Sefarian-Jenkins was unable to do most of the drills, he did speak with the media and we were there. He was asked about his basketball background, and here’s his answer. "My basketball background definitely helps me out in the fact of going up for jump balls and being able to move my hips in and out of routes. It just translates very well to the tight end position.''

Jenkins also indicated that playing in Steve Sarkisian’s offense helped him get ready for the NFL. “I was in a pro style offense with Steve Sarkisian, and he obviously coached with the Oakland Raiders and had great success with a lot of different receivers and tight ends during his tenure. [...] I think I have a good grip on pro style offenses and I think I can fit well into any scheme.''

Austin told us that he’d added some weight in 2013 to become a sturdier blocker, but that he’d dropped about 20 pounds since the end of the season. "It was a concerted effort just because I needed to lose the weight. I wanted to shape myself back into the player I know I can be at a high level, be a big-time playmaker, and this is the weight I feel comfortable at.''

While ASJ ended up not being able to run, he did predict that he’d run “a 4.60 or something.”  That was before he got the bad news on his foot. Fast forward to last week. Seferian-Jenkins reportedly ran a 4.56 in a workout for the Jets. If that time is legit, he will move up board, probably into the early second round.

What we like about Seferian-Jenkins.

  • Size - He’s an enormous target and he can shield defenders in the red zone and at the sticks. He’s also got far more potential to be a plus blocker than we see on most of his film.
  • Speed - If the new 40 time is accurate, that’s a big indication that Jenkins is a dangerous threat down the seam at the next level.
  • Hands - For a guy built like a moose, ASJ has soft hands. He has a chance to become a very reliable red zone weapon if he develops to his full potential.
  • Athleticism - He’s more agile than you’d expect for a man his size and that allows him to outmaneuver defenders while the ball is in the air and shield them. His straight line speed is mediocre on film, but he claims to be in the 4.60 range and he could be if he is indeed playing at a lower weight than he did in 2013.
  • Ball skills - ASJ has very nice body control and tracks the ball well for a big receiver. He can elevate too though we have no vertical measurement. He has the base talents to be a nasty option near the goal.
  • Red Zone - ASJ’s total package of size and athleticism plus his hands make him a very tough player to handle near the goal line.
  • Blocking ability - As I alluded to earlier, this could be a bit of a curse as far as fantasy value is concerned if you are looking for the next Jimmy Graham. Then again, good blocking keeps him on the field, which is a positive. ASJ has outstanding ability in this area, and pretty solid performances on game film.
  • Production - Though he was a bit up-and-down, the numbers are there, especially the touchdowns, with 21 in three seasons.

Here’s a look at Austin’s final college game against BYU.

Here’s a look at Seferian-Jenkins in 2012 against Utah.

Here’s a look at a highlight reel for those of you who don’t want to sift through all of his full games.

When you look at the highlight reel, you can see what people are so excited about. The ball skills and hands are all there and when he’s charged up, he can get his teammates excited too.

So what do we have here? We have a lot of potential for sure. This is a player whose ability can take him a long way, but he needs to put the off-field issues to rest and he needs to become a more consistent physical force on the field. If those two things happen, his ceiling is very high.

He could be a tremendous fit for a teams like Green Bay, Seattle, the Jets or the Giants. New England would interesting as well.

If Seferian-Jenkins clicks in his NFL surroundings and dedicates himself to his craft and to the strength and conditioning program, he has a chance to be very good and to post excellent fantasy numbers. Perhaps even high-end TE1 numbers if he forms a good relationship with his quarterback. 

 

 

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