New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Oct 23, 2021; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies tight end Jalen Wydermyer (85) catches a pass during the first quarter against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Kyle Field. Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

  • Following Tuesday’s roster cuts, the Patriots were left with one open spot under the 85-man roster limit. On Thursday, they filled that spot by signing rookie tight end Jalen Wydermyer out of Texas A&M. Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network was the first to report the signing.

    When the college football season began last fall, Wydermyer was seen as in the running to be the top tight end off the board in this year’s class. However, he didn’t have the breakout season some were expecting, with his production mirroring what it had been the previous season. He then tested poorly at both the NFL Combine and his Pro Day.

  • Jalen Wydermyer’s college stats

     
    Rec Rec Rec Rec
    Year School Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD
    2019 Texas A&M FR TE 12 32 447 14.0 6
    2020 Texas A&M SO TE 10 46 506 11.0 6
    2021 Texas A&M JR TE 12 40 515 12.9 4
    Career Texas A&M 118 1468 12.4 16
    Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
    Generated 8/18/2022.
  • At one point projected as a second-round pick, Wydermyer ended up going undrafted. He signed with the Bills before spring practices, then was released on Sunday ahead of the initial roster cut deadline.

    Despite his poor combine testing, Wydermyer looks like an impressive athlete on tape. With his leaping ability and 6-foot-4, 255 pound frame, he’s a tough cover when it comes to jump balls. He also accelerates well for a player of his size. As a receiver, he’ll need to refine his route running at the next level, and work on catching the ball away from his body. His blocking ability also came under scrutiny in the pre-draft process.

  • Wydermyer’s signing comes after starting tight end Hunter Henry left Tuesday’s practice early then missed Wednesday’s session. Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported Wednesday night that Henry is “dealing with a minor injury and should return soon.”

    In addition to Henry being out, Dalton Keene has been limited in recent weeks. That would have left the Patriots with just three healthy tight ends in Jonnu Smith, Devin Asiasi, and Matt Sokol. Wydermyer gives the Patriots added tight end depth for this week’s preseason game and into joint practices with the Raiders next week.

    While he’s in New England, Wydermyer likely also compete with Asiasi, Keene, and Sokol for either a depth spot on the team. Right now, only two tight ends are roster locks in Henry and Smith. The Patriots could either elect to keep a third tight end on the roster, or get a tight end to the practice squad that they can elevate as the third tight end on game days. Whichever way they go, none of the remaining tight ends on the roster have made a strong push towards that role, with Wydermyer now entering the competition.

    With Wydermyer joining the team, the Patriots are now back at the 85 player roster limit. They’ll have to be down to 80 players by this upcoming Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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