If you happened to be scrolling through NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's latest mock draft, you probably were surprised to see the presence of Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins so high up in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Seferian-Jenkins is generally considered the second- or third-best tight end available, but Jeremiah has him going 21st overall to the Green Bay Packers, the highest he's been on anybody's board in a while. Though he won the Mackey Award as the best tight end in the nation, he was hampered by off the field issues and injuries during his final year at Washington.
But at least one analyst agrees with Jeremiah that a lot of folks are underrating Seferian-Jenkins heading into May's draft.
"I've heard great reports on him lately," NFL Media analyst Charles Davis said on "Path to the Draft." "He's cut weight and looks like he's headed in an upper track and is the number two tight end. He should have always been challenging to be the number one tight end in this draft. I think he's more complete than Eric Ebron when his game is on."
Seferian-Jenkins caught 69 passes his sophomore season but saw his numbers fall off a bit in his final year with the Huskies. That was a red flag for some after he topped just about everyone's draft board heading into the 2013 season. His stock fell as the year went on, but Seferian-Jenkins still was able to haul in eight touchdown passes and keep his name in the NFL conversation.
It's been tough for Seferian-Jenkins to truly make a run at Ebron for the title of the draft's best tight end, however. Seferian-Jenkins didn't perform at the NFL Scouting Combine and missed his pro day in early April as he continues to deal with a pesky foot injury. With a late personal pro day and a handful of private workouts in the lead up to the draft, though, he still has a shot to make up some ground and show teams he has what it takes to be an impact player at the next level.
"When you talk about last season and his lack of production, Washington went to a different offense, too," NFL Network's Curtis Conway said. "He's 6-foot-6, 265 pounds, and he does remind me of Rob Gronkowski. The X-factor for me between Seferian-Jenkins and Ebron is in the red zone.
"Seferian-Jenkins in his career has 21 touchdowns. Ebron? Eight."
It would be a surprise if Seferian-Jenkins went ahead of Ebron in the draft, but he has the physical tools and ability on tape to develop into a better player at the next level for some team. Ebron will win every category related to athleticism and yards after the catch, but Seferian-Jenkins' ability to block and score near the goal line will have a number of tight-end coaches around the league begging to have him on their team.
One thing is certain: Seferian-Jenkins' size and mismatch ability will probably make him the best friend of whatever quarterback he finds himself playing with in the fall.
Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.