Ht – 6’3” Wt – 255lb Class – JR Age – 21
2021 Stats – 40 Rec, 515 Yds, 4 TD (12 Games Played)
Career Stats – 118 Rec, 1468 Yds, 16 TD (34 Games Played)
Hands & Ball Skills – Despite being a prototypical receiving Tight End, he has very suspect hands. He had many drops during his career and catching outside his frame proved difficult for Wydermyer. His ball skills are great, but he’s far from a safety blanket.
Size & Speed – Good size, but he lacks the true bulk and power to be a consistent blocker. His play speed is also not ideal for a receiving Tight End.
Run Blocking – Doesn’t have the proper size to be a true mover in the run game. He can’t open up lanes or clear gaps. When blocking in space, he didn’t show any leg drive to push opponents back. While he’s good enough to make gaps a bit bigger, and practically he is good enough at run blocking, he’s not a difference-maker at all. I’m not convinced he’d be better than the replacement level Tight End at this.
Pass Blocking – His athleticism is very beneficial in this aspect. Wydermyer uses his athleticism to stay in front of edge rushers with ease. He also retreats just enough and then strikes with perfect timing, overcoming his lack of strength or anchor. I still wouldn’t rely on him consistently as a blocker, but he showed good understanding, technique, and capability.
Routes & Separation – Truly elite. What differentiates between the elite NFL Tight Ends (Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Mark Andrews, Darren Waller, etc.) and the average is the top-notch route-running ability. If that was the only indicator, Wydermyer would be a bonafide superstar. I would have loved to see his suddenness and twitchiness on route breaks more often, but he displayed it enough to warrant my trust in this quality of his.
YAC – He uses his athleticism and long strides to get extra yards, but he isn’t shifty with a head of steam. When standing still, he has good lateral bounce, but once he starts moving, he struggles to get past defenders. He also doesn’t possess the contact balance to run through tackles consistently.
Football IQ – Average at best. He has an average feel for the field, and he can be caught looking around to get his spacing correct, instead of doing it instinctually.
Jalen Wydermyer is one of the more receiving-type Tight Ends in this class, and he did so very well. Unfortunately, he has many underlying issues in nearly all aspects of his game. Even as a receiver, he displayed many troubling qualities.
He has unreliable hands, and he isn’t a consistent separator. His routes are sudden, but he didn’t use that suddenness often enough. His speed is also below average.
As a blocker, he is very unreliable, and possibly even a liability. To his credit, he improved greatly as his final season progressed, but he didn’t show a correction of any of the concerning issues. Rather, he just seemed to win more reps.
One aspect of his game that is overlooked, is his relentless competitive nature. He is a baller at heart, and when the lights shine brightest he seems to be up to the task.
Wydermyer has very enticing potential as a receiving Tight End, but those are usually elite athletes with great hands, and Wydermyer has neither. He may put up some good statistical seasons, but I doubt he will ever be a star, and he won’t be a game-changing starter.
See Jalen Wydermyer’s overall ranking among other players on my Big Board.