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ASJ's Turnaround Resulted in Career Year

Jets TE Finished ’17 with Career Highs in Receptions and Yards


On the Active Roster in 2017 (GP/GS, Offensive Snaps)Austin Seferian-Jenkins (13/10, 653), Eric Tomlinson (14/12, 411), Neal Sterling (11/1, 100), Will Tye (3/1, 101), Jordan Leggett (0/0, 0).

Potential Free Agents in 2018Unrestricted: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Gragg. Restricted: Neal Sterling. Exclusive Rights: Eric Tomlinson.


Last Season In Review
Entering the season, the Jets tight ends were an unproven group that eventually became a productive unit, led by former second-round pick Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Seferian-Jenkins was acquired on waivers early in the 2016 season, but battled injury as he only caught 10 passes. In the offseason, the 6'5", 262-pounder reinvented himself both on and off the field as he lost over 30 pounds and recently hit the one-year mark of sobriety. The fourth-year vet referred to this year as his rookie season as he rededicated himself to the game and recorded career highs with 50 receptions and 357 yards.

"I think this year has been a good starting point for me. Out of 10, I'd say it was about a six," Seferian-Jenkins said. "I look at this as my rookie year. A lot to improve. A lot of guys, when they're finishing their fourth or fifth year, you say this is all they got, this is who they are. I think the cool thing about me is that I have so much more to give. I have so much more to grow."

Behind Seferian-Jenkins were second-year player Eric Tomlinson, Neal Sterling and rookie Jordan Leggett, whom the Green & White selected in the fifth round. Tomlinson was primarily used as an in-line blocker, but he tallied 121 yards on eight receptions, four of which went for at least 20 yards, along with one touchdown.

"Man, if there's ever somebody who could lobby for more balls, it's Eric," quarterback Josh McCown said midseason. "Every time we throw him the ball, he's there, he makes plays."

The Jets felt like they drafted Leggett at good value as he was very productive in his final two seasons at Clemson with 86 receptions for 1,261 yards and 15 touchdowns. Unfortunately, the 6'5", 258-pounder landed on Injured Reserve in October after he suffered a knee injury in the summer.

Best Images of the Jets Tight Ends During the 2017 Season

Looking Ahead
Outside of Leggett, the Jets' tight ends all have expiring contracts, but the 25-year-old Seferian-Jenkins expressed his desire to return to the Green & White. If the Jets decide to add a tight end through free agency, a popular name could be Trey Burton, who primarily served as the Eagles' second or third tight end option behind Zach Ertz and Brent Celek. Other potential free agents include Jimmy Graham, Tyler Eifert and Cameron Brate.

This year's draft crop is also solid with the likes of Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State), Mark Andrews (Oklahoma) and Mike Gesicki (Penn State). All three of those guys are currently projected to be selected in the first two rounds of the draft.

Links to our previous position review/previews:

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