With the 150th overall pick in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Jets selected tight end Jordan Leggett from Clemson. Let’s take a closer look at his game and how he fits with the Jets offense…
- 2013: 12 receptions, 176 yards, 2 TDs
- 2014: 14 receptions, 161 yards, 1 TD
- 2015: 40 receptions, 525 yards, 8 TDs
- 2016: 46 receptions, 736 yards, 7 TDs
- 6 foot 5
- 258 pounds
- 4.80 forty yard dash
- 33 inch vertical jump
- 22 Years Old
- Player Profile Comparison – Brent Celek
- NFL.com Comparison – Kellen Davis
Leggett has terrific size and versatility. He is naturally comfortable as a receiver, making him a potential movable chess piece in the offense. Unlike many tight ends, he is not a body catcher and shows a good feel on his route running when split out. Leggett should be an immediate contributor in the red-zone and a matchup problem for smaller safeties and corners. He is a threat on both the fade route and working the back line.
Leggett is not a physical player but he shows an understanding of how to effectively block, particularly on the edge by utilizing his size to seal off and box out defenders. Clemson lined him up all over the formation so he will come to the Jets with experience at being moved around frequently and blocking different types of defenders.
Leggett was admittedly a lazy player early in his career and while that improved throughout his tenure at Clemson, he remains a fairly soft and inconsistent blocker. There are way, way too many occurrences of him standing around the pile, falling off his block too easily or simply getting knocked around like a rag doll. He often looks like a receiver who is being asked to block at tight end is not happy about it.
The lack of physicality can trick down to his route running at times, as he can easily be redirected if a linebacker or safety gets into chest. Leggett lacks enough quickness to maneuver around disciplined defenders at the second level and can be very stiff at times, both coming out of his stance and out of his breaks. He does not consistently fight through defenders for the football.
Leggett walks into a better situation than most 5th round picks in the NFL. The Jets are barren at tight end and have a new Offensive Coordinator who plans to emphasize the position. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the default starter as of right now but is suspended the first two games of the season and is far from a proven commodity. If Leggett can quickly learn the offense and hold up as a blocker, he is going to play a sizable amount of reps right out of the gate. The Jets are likely to regularly use Quincy Enunwa at H-Back, which may limit the amount of middle of the field targets for both Leggett and ASJ but regardless, he should see more opportunities than most offensive players drafted around him in 2017. Leggett is going to make the team and be a contributor in year one.
Leggett was strong value in the 5th round at a position of desperate need for the Jets. He is an enormous target who has good hands and a feel for finding the soft spot against a defense. He is not the quickest athlete or the most physical blocker but if he is truly over his early career effort issues, he has the toolkit to be a competent starting tight early in his career. The Jets are going to hope with technique improvement and refinement his blocking will stabilize. They will likely regularly bounce him around between Y, H, receiver and occasionally fullback to take advantage of his versatility. Leggett would have been a reasonable selection in the 3rd round so getting him in the 5th is a nice pull for Mike Maccagnan.
Photo Credit: Clemson.com