At a media event preceding the College Football Awards Show last week, Washington junior tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins said any decision on turning pro early would come after he did his due diligence.
"It's a business decision," he said, later adding, "It's a process, and you have to be smart about it."
Now it appears as if Seferian-Jenkins (6-foot-6, 276 pounds) has some information to process. FoxSports.com reported Saturday that Seferian-Jenkins has received a second-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board.
Seferian-Jenkins won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end despite having the worst season of his college career. He has 33 receptions for 413 yards (12.5 yards per catch) and seven TDs headed into the Dec. 27 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against BYU.
He had 69 receptions last season and 41 as a true freshman in 2011.
His size/speed combination is tremendous -- he has been clocked as fast as 4.65 seconds in the 40-yard dash -- and he should test extremely well in his pre-draft workouts. Seferian-Jenkins generally is considered one of the top three draft-eligible tight ends in the nation. But he has had some off-field issues, and that coupled with his relative lack of production this season has led to some extra scrutiny.
North Carolina junior Eric Ebron already has announced he is going pro, and he also is considered one of the top three tight ends nationally.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.