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2015 NFL DRAFT

2014 NFL Draft: Seferian-Jenkins opts for surgery now

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

Austin Seferian-Jenkins will likely miss Washington's pro day. (USATSI)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins will likely miss Washington's pro day. (USATSI)
More Draft: NFL Mock Drafts | Big Board | NFL combine news

Former University of Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins underwent surgery in North Carolina Friday to stabilize a stress fracture in his left foot.

Seferian-Jenkins, currently NFLDraftScout.com's No. 3 TE and No. 45 overall prospect, looked to be in great shape when he took the podium and spoke to the assembled media at the scouting combine last week. He announced his expectation to run "a 4.6-something" after measuring in at 6-foot-5, 262 pounds -- a loss of nearly 20 pounds.

Shortly before the tight ends were to compete in their first athletic drills in Indianapolis, however, the reigning Mackey Award winner was informed that doctors had discovered a pre-existing injury and that he was not medically cleared to participate.

In an interview given to the NFL Network after the tight end workouts ended last Saturday, Seferian-Jenkins sounded understandably disappointed.

"Everything is good," he said. "I'm fine."

He acknowledged to the Seattle Times on Monday, however, that he was "glad they found it," and that now he'd "finally found out why my foot was hurting all year."

After a consultation with agents, Todd France and Brian Ayrault of Five Star Athlete Management and family, Seferian-Jenkins opted for surgery to repair the issue.

The expected recovery is approximately eight weeks, which makes it unlikely he'll be able to participate in Washington's Pro Day, April 2.

Those close to Seferian-Jenkins weren't willing to count out the possibility of a later workout should he prove a quick healer.

The 2014 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday, May 8, just under 10 weeks from now.

Since signing with Washington as one of the elite prep talents in the country, Seferian-Jenkins has proven a difference-maker, using his extraordinary combination of size, body control and soft hands to prove a matchup nightmare for opponents. Despite leaving after his true junior season, Seferian-Jenkins ranks as Washington's career record-holder among tight ends in catches (146), receiving yards (1,840) and touchdowns (21).

Though he was recognized with the Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end in 2013, Seferian-Jenkins was actually more productive as a sophomore, setting the university's single-season records for his position with 69 receptions for 850 yards and seven touchdowns. For that production Seferian-Jenkins was named a finalist for the Mackey as a sophomore but was beaten out by Notre Dame's (and future Cincinnati Bengals' first round pick) Tyler Eifert, whose numbers (50 catches for 685 yards and four scores) paled in comparison.

While undeniably gifted, Seferian-Jenkins proved more of an after-thought rather than go-to target in his final season with the Huskies. Then-head coach Steve Sarkisian incorporated more of a spread offense, asking Seferian-Jenkins to block more frequently. He caught a career-high eight touchdowns but otherwise sunk to 36 catches for 450 yards, the lowest production of his collegiate career.

Seferian-Jenkins' junior season got off to an inauspicious start with an arrest for DUI in March of last year. He then broke his pinkie - which also required surgery - in mid-August.

Despite the less-than-ideal junior campaign, Seferian-Jenkins elected to leave early for the NFL, reportedly earning a second round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee.

He does not boast the breakaway speed that most (but not all) of CBSSports.com's analysts think will result in North Carolina's Eric Ebron earning a top 20 pick but catches the ball as well as any tight end in this draft class, in part due to his basketball background, which has taught him to catch the ball with his hands.

Seferian-Jenkins offers a pro-ready all-around game that reminds me a bit of Jacksonville Jaguars' 6-6, 272-pound Marcedes Lewis, a former UCLA Bruin and the 28th overall pick of the 2006 draft.

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