Jets Sign Huge 6-Foot-7 Pass-Catcher Labeled as ‘Quarterback’s Best Friend’

E.J. Jenkins

Getty New York Jets UDFA signing E.J. Jenkins with South Carolina in 2021.

The contract details of another New York Jets UDFA signing were revealed on May 1 — per NFL insider Aaron Wilson.

“Jets deal for undrafted Georgia Tech tight end E.J. Jenkins: $110,000 guaranteed, $100,000 of base salary guaranteed, plus $10,000 signing bonus,” Wilson relayed. Georgia Tech Football initially announced Jenkins’ new landing spot on April 29, which was later confirmed by the UDFA tracker.

There have been 14 undrafted prospects that the Green & White have brought in so far, from wide receiver and cornerback to safety, linebacker and more.

Jets New UDFA E.J. Jenkins Could Play TE or WR With ‘Precise Routes’ & ‘Strong Hands’

Jenkins is an interesting prospect out of Georgia Tech — and both Saint Francis and South Carolina before that.

His most productive season was with the Saint Francis Red Flash in 2019 (779 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns off 39 catches), but his hybrid WR/TE skillset could help him latch on at the NFL level. Remember, the Jets loved Lawrence Cager in a similar role last summer.

NFL Draft Buzz scouted the 6-foot-7 Jenkins as a “quarterback’s best friend” that “has a knack for getting open.” They also praised his “precise” route-running and his quality acceleration and straight-line speed.

“He’s very good in contested-catch situations, using his frame effectively to make plays facing the quarterback,” NFL Draft Buzz continued. “Jenkins also shows a knack for high-pointing the ball, consistently outmuscling defensive backs” with a long frame and “strong hands.”

The scouting site only criticized his lack of elite speed — but as a wide receiver prospect, not a tight end — and some technical issues on his cuts and angles. The raw traits are out of this world, however, if the NYJ coaching staff can fine-tune them.

Jenkins is coming off a 316-yard campaign (three touchdowns) with Georgia Tech. He’s a definite candidate for the practice squad and profiles as another potential diamond in the rough for Jets general manager Joe Douglas.

Jets Drafted 6-Foot-7 Freak in TE Zack Kuntz

It’s pretty obvious that the Jets have a type — 6-foot-7 freakish tight ends that can catch the football. They drafted another in round seven before the Jenkins signing: Old Dominion prospect Zack Kuntz.

Bleacher Report draft scout Derrik Klassen called Kuntz a “home run swing” on day three for Douglas and company based on his athleticism and potential.

“Athletically, Kuntz is rare. At 6’7″ and 255 pounds, he has some of the best acceleration and speed in the class,” Klassen explained. “He jolts off the line of scrimmage and can fly past defenders in a hurry when running routes such as seams, crossers and corners.”

Continuing: “Kuntz is also a sick athlete when it comes to change of direction. He plays with fast, controlled footwork and the ability to smoothly drop his hips to explode out of route breaks. When given a bit of space to operate, Kuntz has all the tools to be a separator.”

Klassen did admit that the Old Dominion tight end has a “long, long way” to go before excelling at the NFL level because of physicality, blocking and route-running concerns but like Jenkins, this is a rare slab of clay for head coach Robert Saleh’s coaching staff to mold. Veteran tight ends coach Ron Middleton will get to work on both prospects during rookie camp and Organized Team Activities (OTAs).

Even if the Jets only hit on one of the two, it’s an absolute win for a franchise that also has long-term tight end candidates in Tyler Conklin (if extended), Jeremy Ruckert (drafted in 2022) and Kenny Yeboah (priority UDFA from 2021).

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