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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

February 17, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Scouting Bishop Sankey and Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Washington running back Bishop Sankey greets the cheering crowd as he enters the tunnel after defeating the Washington State Cougars 27-17 on Friday at Husky Stadium. (John Lok/The Seattle Times)

Washington running back Bishop Sankey greets the cheering crowd as he enters the tunnel after defeating the Washington State Cougars 27-17 on Friday at Husky Stadium. (John Lok/The Seattle Times)

The NFL Combine starts Friday, with 335 prospects heading to Indianapolis to have virtually every aspect of their potential (and their psyche) put on display for NFL scouts, coaches and executives.

Keith Price and Sean Parker won’t be there — they were snubbed — but Bishop Sankey and Austin Seferian-Jenkins were invited and will represent Washington, both having declared for the NFL Draft after their junior season.

Seferian-Jenkins is No. 34 on this list of top-50 prospects, and this NFL.com headline suggests he should be the top tight end performer at the combine.

Overall, the general scouting report grades Seferian-Jenkins as a 5.5 talent, meaning he’s projected to be a “roster player” in the NFL. (Here’s a good breakdown of the scouts’ grades. For what it’s worth, from my experience these early combine grades can be a bit conservative. And, of course, each NFL team will have their own grades.)

Here’s the NFL.com scouting report on ASJ:

Strengths: Looks the part. Has outstanding size and stature — presents a big target and dwarfs defensive backs. Uses physicality to create separation and can post up in the red zone. Athletic — spent time on the UW basketball team. Terrific movement skills and receiving ability for a big man. Surprising foot speed and agility — stretches the seam. Adjusts to throws and has soft hands. Has potential to be an effective in-line blocker — has size and core strength to seal defensive ends. 

Weaknesses: Could stand to sculpt his physique and get functionally stronger. Work in progress as an in-line blocker. Not an explosive athlete. Ordinary release. Builds to speed. Tight hips. Does not pop out of breaks. Limited elusiveness after the catch. Receptions and yards fell off by nearly 50 percent as a junior. Character and stability need to be looked into.

Bottom line: An intriguing height-weight-speed prospect, Seferian-Jenkins has all the tools to be a legitimate No. 1 tight end in the NFL, though he has to maintain focus and consistency and continue improving as a blocker.

Sankey received a scouting grade of 5.3. For comparison, Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey graded out at 5.75.

Here’s the scouting report on Sankey:

Strengths: Good vision and balance. Subtle lateral agility to pick, slide and accelerate. Reads his blocks and instinctively runs to daylight. Fluid gate and efficient movement. Runs competitively. Good hands to pull in throws off his body. Was productive with a heavy workload in a pro-style offense. Team captain.

Weaknesses: Lacks ideal bulk and functional run strength — not a robust tackle-breaker. Too often grounded by single-tacklers or tripped up by the ankles. Shows some hip tightness. Average explosion, speed and elusiveness. Has shown he can be contained by good defenses. Needs to become a more dependable, physical, fundamentally sound pass protector. 

The bottom line: The Pac-12’s leading rusher, Sankey has an overall average skill set and generally gains what is blocked for him. Is instinctive, competitive and shifty enough to be effective as a complementary zone runner, but must improve in pass protection.

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