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The next talented rookie tight end I wanted to discuss is Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins (or simply just “ASJ”). He has a stress fracture in his foot that has prevented him from working out after the season, but he did measure in at 6’ 5” 262 lbs. and recently ran a 4.56 40 yard dash for the Ravens. To get a better feel of his abilities/talents versus the rest of his class, I watched three 2013 games against California, Brigham Young, and Stanford as well as three 2012 games versus Utah, ASJLSU, and USC.

ASJ is a very versatile athlete as he lines up as a traditional tight end beside the offensive tackle, as a fullback, in the slot, and split out wide. Back in 2012, he moon lighted a little at defensive end and looked pretty good at it, but I expound on that later. The tight end is an average run blocker who could seal the edge, turn the defender, but lacks the necessary power to control his man for very long. As a pass blocker, ASJ has good enough footwork to shadow the blitzer, step into the block, but would get knocked back by a bull-rusher. These blocking skills are far from elite, but will do the job in a pinch.

The tight end is a bit stiff-hipped, not smooth at all, and is a long strider. It takes him time to build up speed, but once he gets a ten yard split, ASJ is moving quickly. That is not to say that he isn’t fast off the line as he gets clean separation swimming past defenders in his way. He runs a beautiful wheel route from the fullback spot that takes defenses by surprise as they seemed to forget how quick and powerful he is. The tight end also gets used on quick bubble screens where he reads his blockers well to gain extra yardage.

ASJ is a crisp route runner, but excels at catching the ball in the middle of the field with defenders draped all over him. He will split a corner and safety on a post route and take it to the house if you let him. The tight end does not give up on plays as he will follow his quarterback crossing the entire length of the field giving the signal caller a bailout target. It’s that competitive spirit that makes him hard to defend.

It’s his hands that are his biggest asset as they keep linebackers and safeties off his body and that bring in the ball to make great catches in stride. Very rarely does ASJ tip-off a defender where the ball is going as he tracks it well in the air without a lot of head movement. That is amazing concentration. He plucks the ball out of the air or can make a devastating bucket catch near the sidelines for a long gain with those soft hands. ASJ is one of his class’ best at adjusting to the ball in the air as he regularly caught passes thrown behind him. The play maker has good leaping ability and catches the ball at its highest point, many times fully extending for it.

He has a little running back swagger as he sometimes hurdles over defenders or uses spin moves, swats people away from his body, and stretches the ball over the yard marker for a first down. ASJ rarely gets tackled without multiple defenders diving at his legs or piling on top of him.

When ASJ played defensive end, he showed good penetration and had a great burst off the line of scrimmage. The play maker used good leverage and got underneath his opponents shoulder pads. I would like to see him get into that same attack mode when playing offense. Hopefully his earlier DUI issues can stay in the past. ASJ has the tools to be a solid, but unspectacular NFL tight end. If you are looking for a fantasy superstar, you have come to the wrong place. I would love to get ASJ as a backup tight end in a traditional tight end league as a bye-week filler.

If you have further comments or questions, you can get a hold of me on Twitter @AndrewMiley or @Dynasty_Blitz.

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