Many people may have been surprised to see the name Ricky Seals-Jones pop up on Sunday, not least when he found the end zone twice for the Cardinals in their loss to the Houston Texans. I was one of them, I must admit. So just who is the mysterious Seals-Jones?
Seals-Jones played his college football at Texas A&M as a wide receiver, starting for three years after just the one game as a true freshman. His 123 receptions for the Aggies is good for 10th all-time for the school (14 players have more receiving yards than his 1442). He also managed to haul in 10 touchdown passes, the same number secured by Ryan Tannehill before he converted to quarterback. Seals-Jones failed to reach 600 yards in a single season, however, and many speculated before the draft that his NFL future would see him convert to tight end.
Using the RotoViz Box Score Scout, we can get a range of outcomes for a player, based on any number of comparable metrics. Seals-Jones numbers, it must be said, do not exactly point to a man destined for greatness at the next level.
Yeah, as an Eagles fan I know who Trey Burton is. But the rest of the above group? I got nothing.
In his fantastic article regarding Combine drills that matter for TEs, Kevin Cole developed a measurables tree for evaluating the likelihood of a player becoming a solid NFL starter within four years.
Seals-Jones starts well, with a forty time of 4.69. But with just 17 reps on the bench and a 28 on his vertical leaps, it seems unlikely that he will distinguish himself from that list of players we saw earlier.
But we must consider that, in just the second game in which he played meaningful snaps, Seals-Jones saw five targets and converted them into three grabs for 54 yards and two scores. There is a theory that sometimes backup QBs bring a chemistry with players lower down on the depth chart. A prime example of this was with Jordan Matthews for the Eagles back in 2014. He became a much bigger part of the Eagles offense after the starter Nick Foles was injured and backup Mark Sanchez came into the lineup.
Blaine Gabbert, for most of the year the third-string QB for the Cardinals, made his first start for the team on Sunday. In their first game together, the third-string TE became a big part of the offense. It’s not scientific, and without the ability to directly ask Bruce Arians, I don’t know if it was part of the weekly game plan. It may simply have just been the right place, right time for Ricky Seals-Jones.
Moving forward, it’s doubtful that Seals-Jones will be much of a factor in fantasy terms. The next three opponents – the Jaguars, Rams, and Titans – were 19th, 21st, and 20th in terms of fantasy points allowed to TEs prior to Week 11. Plus, we have no concrete confirmation that Gabbert will even remain the starter. TE is never a spot to hang your hat when it comes to Bruce Arians and his teams, so it would appear to be safe to leave Seals-Jones on the waiver wire.