How Austin Seferian-Jenkins Fits with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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How Austin Seferian-Jenkins Fits with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Taking one 6'5" playmaker on offense to pair with Vincent Jackson was a great start for a Buccaneers offense that finished last in the NFL in total yards per game last year.

Grabbing another one with his very next pick proves that maybe head coach Lovie Smith learned a thing or two during his one-year hiatus from the NFL.  Well-known for his defensive mind, Smith's first two draft picks as the Bucs' head honcho show that he's committed to improving the side of the ball that he struggled to develop during his tenure in Chicago.  

 

Size in Space?

Despite all of the talk during the offseason about new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford searching for "speed in space" for his scheme, the Bucs have spent their first two picks on gigantic targets in the passing game who use their size to excel more than their straight-line speed.

These two picks lead me to believe that Tedford is confident that the speed he covets for his system is already on the roster.  Louis Murphy and Lavelle Hawkins were signed during free agency and bring adequate speed to the table, but the real wild card in that department could be world-class sprinter Jeff Demps, who has recovered from a season-ending injury and reportedly looked impressive during the team's first mini-camp.

The presence of three pass-catchers who are 6'5" or taller could open things up for the speedsters the Bucs already have, forcing opposing defenses to choose between guarding against the Bucs' size or speed.

 

Red-Zone Nightmare

The Bucs' struggles inside the red zone last season were well-documented, and it's clear the new regime is serious about changing that trend.

Due to his rare combination of size and athleticism, Seferian-Jenkins creates serious problems for opposing defenses inside the 20-yard line.  Smaller defensive backs will have a difficult time outmuscling him if he's split out wide (something he did plenty for the Huskies), and it will be nearly impossible for linebackers to consistently match up with his elite athleticism.

 

Three-Down Player

The Bucs already have two decent pass-catchers at tight end in Tim Wright and the newly acquired Brandon Myers, but both leave something to be desired in the blocking department.  

Seferian-Jenkins uses his frame to his advantage as an in-line blocker, holding his own against defensive ends trying to set the edge and overwhelming smaller linebackers and defensive backs down the field.

His balanced skill set will allow the former Husky to stay on the field for all three downs, which gives Tedford more flexibility with his play-calling in certain situations.

 

The Bottom Line

Bucs fans might be surprised to see them grab a tight end after the season Wright had last year (as well the fact they brought in Myers), but Seferian-Jenkins' rare physical tools put him in a different class at the position.  Josh McCown will have plenty of weapons at his disposal in his first season at the helm in Tampa Bay.

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