Jaylen Wydermyer - TE - Texas A&M
Welcome to the rookie profile for Jaylen Wydermyer. Wydermyer is the only underclassman tight end to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. With his size and pure athleticism, he is an NFL team’s dream at the tight end position to fit today’s game. There has been a case for Wydermyer to be the TE1 in this class since the completion of his Freshman year, but there might be some unexpected competition come draft time this year.
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 255 lbs
40-yard dash: DNP
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
Wydermyer was a 4-start prospect committed to Texas A&M and possessed the raw size and athleticism from day 1. And, he looked to have the skill to back it up, posting 447 yards and 6 touchdowns as a true freshman. He immediately took over the reins as TE1 following the injury to fellow freshman tight end, Baylor Cupp. Despite garnering 25 additional targets his sophomore season, Wydermyer’s production didn’t take a significant leap. He hauled in 14 more targets for 19 more yards. His 506 yards as a sophomore was 2nd on the team in receiving yards. The Aggies did lose 2 of their leading receivers from 2019 to 2020 and it was evident that A&M became a lot more run-heavy.
Then this past season, as a junior, Wydermyer once again didn’t take a leap that a lot of people were expecting from him. His stats were very similar despite playing 2 more games than the previous COVID season. Although, he did leap over Ainias Smith in 2021 for the leading receiver for the Aggies. His three years at A&M awarded him 3 Second Team All-SEC honors from 2019 to 2021.
First off, Wydermyer has great, prototypical size at 6’6” and 255 lbs. He has natural athleticism that can’t be taught and NFL teams drool over in today’s offensive systems. He also knows how to utilize his size against defenders to gain inside/outside leverage and open up his frame for a massive target for the quarterback. He becomes like a Power Forward in basketball, boxing out the defender in one on one situations. He was a great vertical threat for the Aggies during his tenure, stretching defenses on the sideline or up the seam. He’s a matchup nightmare either inline or standing up in the slot or outside. He has the size to out-muscle defensive backs and the speed to blow by linebackers.
For a TE of his size, he ran solid routes when asked to at A&M. Most of the time he was used as a vertical threat, but occasionally showed off some good inside/outside breaks in short to intermediate parts of the field. Additionally, he has a good combination of speed in the open field and power when faced with contact to pick up plenty of yards after the catch. When it comes to blocking for his teammates, he is an average blocker that showed glimpses of his potential. His size already puts him at an advantage in this department, he just needs the right coaching and development to consistently use that size to his advantage.
To start, a big concern with Wydermyer was the lack of development throughout his college career. He started red hot as a true freshman but didn’t seem able to build upon that early success. It didn’t help that A&M almost strictly used him in the vertical passing game, which led to the lack of a true route tree, even for a TE going to the next level. This also prevented him from getting used in different areas of the field and really did not play into his potential offensive diversity.
Size is something you can’t teach and can give you a longer leash than maybe it should. For Wydermyer there are areas that he uses his size well, but there are also times he doesn’t take full advantage of it. Such as the blocking game. He needs to utilize his size and strength to be a dominant figure in both the run blocking and pass blocking game. The pass blocking isn’t necessarily a big concern, since as fantasy managers, we want him to be running routes and not blocking in passing scenarios. But, that could be a reason for Wydermyer to not be on the field. Additionally, one would expect Wydermyer to be a great contested catch player with his length, but he can’t consistently come down with those contested catches. Even when he isn’t contested, he was a bit of a body catcher and could improve his technique to be more sure-handed for his quarterback.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 4
The hot name right now is Trey McBride, and it feels like these two will be battling it out for the TE1 position on draft night. I don’t think we’ll see either go in the first round, but round 2 feels like a safe bet. Some intriguing landing spots would be the New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Washington Commanders, LA Chargers, Indianapolis Colts. These teams all need a TE1, and we just saw the Titans and Chargers both lose their star tight ends in free agency last offseason. The Commanders and Colts have historically used tight ends frequently, but were lacking a true difference-maker at the position. And with the Jets, people say a tight end is a young quarterback’s best friend. Ryan Griffin was the leading TE in receiving yards and is slotted to be the starter next year as of now. That’s not a good thing.
Post Draft Analysis
Buffalo Bills- UDFA
Despite missing some games in 2021, Dawson Knox really started to come along in his development in his third year for the Buffalo Bills. Additionally at the position, they brought in OJ Howard, a player who has never been able to stay healthy, preventing him from hitting his high potential when drafted in 2017. While the Bills aren’t overly strong at the position, they have options and they added to those options by bringing in Jalen Wydermyer as an undrafted free agent following the NFL Draft. Wydermyer was a highly regarded tight-end prospect that failed to take that next big step his junior year and then followed it up by bombing his athletic testing. For now, he is added depth for the Bills with at least a shot of making the roster and potentially contributing down the road.
Wydermyer is a fantasy long shot. He looked like a good prospect on paper, but on tape, he had serious question marks. Then when it came to the off-field workouts, he struggled. Still, the Bills took a shot on him as an undrafted free agent where he joins a questionable tight end group. Still, he should go undrafted in both dynasty and redraft until proven otherwise.