The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got a nice pick-up in the 2014 NFL Draft when they added Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the second round after selecting big wide receiver Mike Evans with a top-ten selection, and the Buccaneers have three huge targets for Josh McCown to throw it to in Vincent Jackson, Evans, and ASJ. We know Jackson has elite talent, and Evans and Seferian-Jenkins were certainly elite players in college and have the upside to be among the best at their respective positions in the NFL.
Seferian-Jenkins could have easily started his NFL career behind the curve due to Washington’s late graduation and a Combine injury, but Lovie Smith and the Bucs have been impressed with his ability to quickly pick up Jeff Tedford’s scheme. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted to colleague Albert Breer that the Buccaneers have “now” fallen “head-over-heels” for ASJ, who has evidently beaten out the versatile Tim Wright, who has been a disappointment this offseason after a nice 2013 campaign, and Brandon Myers, who was terrible last season for the New York Giants after a quality 2012 season while with the Oakland Raiders (mostly racking up garbage-time yards).
In college, Seferian-Jenkins was the best tight end due to his ability to catch passes and block. As Breer notes, ASJ has drawn comparisons to Rob Gronkowski due to his size, blocking ability, and ability to shed defenders after the catch. A basketball player, Seferian-Jenkins has plenty of ball skills, and he has the versatility to line up anywhere. He had some character red flags and questions about his short-area quickness and route-running out of college, but he has excellent physical tools. There isn’t a better rookie at blocking than ASJ among TEs with a chance at getting significant rookie playing time, and he should outplay more raw rookies Eric Ebron and Jace Amaro (neither can block nearly as well as ASJ either) this year.