Why Undrafted?: Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M

This series was created in response to questions about why certain well-known prospects went unselected in NFL drafts. For these articles, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. The positive response to “Why Undrafted” and questions from readers about why prospects were drafted lower than the media expectations led us to create the parallel series “Why the Slide?”

Both series are back this year. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

Entering the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, Texas A&M’s Jalen Wydermyer was one of the favorites to be the first tight end selected. With the Aggies, Wydermyer showed a NFL skill set with size, speed, and athleticism to be a receiving weapon. Wydermyer was coming off a somewhat disappointing 2021 season in which Texas A&M had some quarterback struggles replacing Kellen Mond, and Wydermyer also had some issues with dropped passes. Still, the consensus belief was that he had second-day potential for the 2022 NFL Draft. Wydermyer, however, struggled in the pre-draft process, and that ultimately sent him all the way down into the undrafted ranks.

Team sources said Wydermyer’s terrible performance in the spring is what led to him going undrafted. At the combine and later, Wydermyer showed an alarming lack of football I.Q., according to team sources, and they said his interviews were terrible. Wydermyer also did not work out well in the weeks before the 2022 NFL Draft. Flunking the pre-draft process is what led Wydermyer falling undrafted.

Wydermyer signed with the Buffalo Bills after going undrafted, which was a solid landing spot. The Bills have a solid starter in Dawson Knox and signed O.J. Howard in free agency, but Knox is entering the last year of his contract and Howard only signed a 1-year deal. Thus, if Wydermyer can make the roster as a third or fourth tight end, he could be in a great position to grow into a serious role and possibly even become a starter. Wydermyer has a good skill set, and Sean McDermott’s coaching staff has done a very good job of developing players. If Wydermyer works hard and dedicates himself to becoming a student of the game, he has the athletic potential to be a steal as an undrafted free agent. Wydermyer has a great opportunity to carve out a NFL career with the Bills. The question is just if he will seize it.

2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 16

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

NFL Picks - Feb. 12