2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jalen Wydermyerby Michael Schiro March 14, 2022 3 comments
Jalen Wydermyer is one of the top tight ends in this year’s draft. Wydermyer is a big body and explosive talent for his position. he is a powerful and agile player who could be one of the better tight ends in the league. The Mackey Award Finalist and All AP-SEC Second team member had a solid showing during his three-year career with the program. However, some areas of his game need to be improved. Furthermore, with an intense draft class, Wydermyer suffered and could fall to the end of day two. Any team that takes him would be getting a starting-caliber player on a cheap rookie contract.
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Name: Jalen Wydermyer
Jersey: No. 85
Position: Tight End
School: Texas A&M
Weight: 255 lbs
Games Watched: Alabama (2021), Alabama (2021), Kent State (2021), New Mexico (2021)
Major Injury History: Hand Surgery
Wydermyer is perhaps the best blocking tight end in this draft class. He is perfect for any power or zone run scheme with his massive frame. However, his best skill for blocking is his hand usage. Wydermyer demonstrates how he can explode off the ball and get his hands on the defender first. Wydermyer always gets into a low base and explodes his hand into the defender’s chest. While he is as polished as a blocker as anyone, any team looking to draft him will be getting a player who won’t need to come off the field when running the ball.
Route Running (10/15)
His route running isn’t as polished as it should be. However, he is a player who seems to find the gap in the zone frequently. At the same time, he won’t be running routes like Travis Kelce, but he will be used in short to intermediate yardage. With people looking for the next Kelce, Wydermyer is a throwback player. He will not be running routes deep down the field very often, but he will be the quarterback’s best security blanket. Furthermore, when Wydermyer runs deep routes, he won’t win with speed but rather his size.
Wydermyer shows explosiveness when getting off the line. Whether it’s to run a route or to engage in a block, however, he could stand to get better at his quickness during the first few steps off the line. Additionally, Wydermyer is much better when released from a detached position than a three-point stance. However, he will get better at his release with a pro strength and conditioning program.
He has excellent ball skills and tracking ability. At the same time, he has a remarkable ability to contort his body when going up for a ball. However, the one area Wydermyer lacks is difficulty catching balls over his back shoulder. If he can get better at catching balls over the shoulder, then he would be a force to be reckoned with. Furthermore, Wydermyer needs to be better at judging the ball’s distance to the thrown spot.
Run After Catch (8/10)
At 6’5″ and 255 lbs, he is a freight train hard to bring down. However, once Wydermyer gets the ball in his hands, he will do anything in his power to gain extra yards, whether it’s from sheer physical running or jumping and juking his way for more yards. Just one man won’t bring down Wydermyer, it will take multiple. When looking at his last season, every time he caught the ball, he would run for another few yards before being brought down. Furthermore, he can gain ground in a hurry if left in open space with his long stride ability.
Hands/Ball Security (7.5/10)
Wydermyer is an absolute terror to defend in the red zone due to his size and jumping ability. The red zone is where he will hurt the most, but he has to be more consistent to be considered a top-tight end. Wydermyer has had a drop problem during his time at A&M, but it’s not often that it happens. However, he has dropped a few balls on very imports situations. Furthermore, he still has a problem with his body control.
Contested Catch (8/10)
While he shows excellent hand as a pass-catcher, he needs to get better at his focus. He is a natural hand catcher, which is great as he doesn’t catch with his body. However, it will be hard to break up the pass with his long arms and strength. When catching balls over the middle, his concentration seems to go away. However, it can be attributed to him wanting to make a big play-up field. If Wydermyer gets thrown a jump ball, he is excellent at high-pointing it and coming down with it. Furthermore, when looking at his red-zone catches, he is excellent at shielding defenders off to catch a ball.
The Aggies staff had Wydermyer line up in multiple different positions. From lining up at the Y position or the H and F position, Wydermyer is a player who can be moved around. His massive frame and size create a mismatch nightmare for any defense he is playing against. However, he won’t be running past people with his lack of speed, but he will cause a problem because of his mobility. Often A&M had him line up in the slot or split out wide. Where ever he lines up, defenses have to keep track of it. Furthermore, while he isn’t a burner, he does create problems with his footwork and mobility.
While at A&M, Wydermyer averaged 13 yards per catch during the three years with the Aggies. He ramped up his production in his final year with a career-high in yards and yards per reception. Although, when looking at his stats, Wydermyer didn’t get a lot of targets, he made the most of his opportunity. The most significant indicator of his production is his yards per reception. While he didn’t see a lot of targets, he produced big yardage. While he mostly ran short routes that he took for extra yards, and even the big play catches deep down the field. He is a match-up nightmare for defenders when stretching the seam with his frame and size. Furthermore, all 50/50 balls thrown his way become 70/30 for him with his frame.
Wydermyer is a playmaker at the tight end position. While at A&M, he had mild success primarily due to the run-heavy scheme. Wydermyer is a big, solid, and athletic player who is best used when moved around the field when going out for routes. However, his best attribute is his blocking. While on run plays, he is a demon when creating holes for his running back. Furthermore, any team that drafts him will be getting a franchise tight end for years to come. Wydermyer is a vertical threat that can also play the intermediate area of the field and will become a quarterback’s safety blanket. With his ability to be a weapon at the red zone, that is where most of his damage will occur.
Rookie Projection: Starting Tight End
Third Year Projection: Franchise Tight End
Final Grade (82.5/100): Late Second Round Pick
Player Comp: Jason Witten
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