The 2022 NFL Draft has good depth and variety at a number of different positions. The tight end position is no different and offers prospects who can fill a variety of different roles for any offense in the League.
Texas A&M tight end Jalen Wydermyer is one of the more intriguing options. He had a disappointing performance at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, but was a playmaker on the field for the Aggies — though he might have been underused in their offense.
The New York Giants will likely need to make finding a tight end a priority at some point in the draft. Could Wydermyer be one of the players they target?
Games Played: 34
Yards (YPC): 1,468 (12.4 per catch)
Games Played: 12
Yards (YPC): 515 (12.9 per catch)
Best: Size, ball skills, competitive toughness
Worst: Explosiveness, “twitch”, blocking technique
Projection: A number two tight end with scheme diversity
Jalen Wydermyer (pronounced WHY-der-my-er) is a big, versatile tight end prospect from Texas A&M university.
Wydermyer is a three-year starter for the Aggies, and aligns in a variety of positions in TAMU’s offense. He lined up as an in-line and detached tight end, as an H-back, and flexed out into the slot. He was also used as a motion player, often running across the formation just before the snap of the ball.
Wydermyder was primarily used as a blocker for Texas A&M’s offense and was effective in that role. He has solid play strength to sustain his blocks and plays with good competitive toughness. Wydermyer fights to sustain his blocks for as long as possible and consistently looks for work when he doesn’t have anyone to block. He also does a good job of chipping defenders when necessary as he releases into his routes.
Wydermyer is an effective receiver who shows some subtle savvy in his route running. He has a solid release off the line of scrimmage and flashes an understanding of how to manipulate his routes to create separation out of his breaks. Wydermyer is very effective against zone coverage and has a great ability to settle into voids and make receptions for big gains.
He is also a surprisingly capable runner after the catch. He has solid field vision and enough play strength to break tackles and pick up yards after the catch.
While Wydermyer is at least effective as a blocker and receiver, he lacks explosiveness and “twitch” as an athlete. He is a long-striding runner who lacks burst off the line of scrimmage and out of his breaks. Likewise, he doesn’t really explode into the defenders he blocks. He’s an adequate obstacle and good on the back side of plays, but relies on his frame and positioning when he is on the play-side. Wydermyer will also need to improve his technique – notably his hand positioning and leverage – at the NFL level.
Overall Grade: 6.9
Jalen Wydermyer projects as a number two tight end with schematic versatility at the NFL level.
He might have to start his career as a special teams player, but Wydermyer has the chance to become a reliable offensive player with some improvements to his technique. He would likely be best in a West Coast or spread offense, which would afford him space in the open field as a receiver. Likewise, he’s at his best when blocking in a zone scheme.
Wydermyer has upside as a reliable 3rd down and red zone weapon, and has some big-play potential between the 20’s as well. He likely lacks the top-end athleticism to be a truly feared tight end at the NFL level. He has some long speed and agility in tight quarters, but isn’t a really “quick” or explosive player. Wydermyer isn’t the kind of tight end who can be flexed into the slot or play wide receiver and truly scare defenses, though his game could complement that kind of tight end well.
He still has work to do and there’s definitely room for development in his game. That said, he has the potential to be a useful player who can help an NFL offense.