When I went to high school, we idolized the freaky athletes, and they got every girl imaginable. A five-star system is how you are measured when football is concerned. No A or B letter grades, just kids striving to be great, and Ricky Seals-Jones became a high school phenom.
Ricky (or RSJ) decided to attend Texas A&M, as stars like Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans, Jake Matthews, and Luke Joeckel were pushing the thread for TAMU. It was an appealing offense for a receiver, not much production ensued.
Through four seasons at Texas A&M, RSJ never surpassed 600 yards in a season, the most during a strong redshirt sophomore season (560 yards, 4 touchdowns). He did send his name to the draft committee, but decided to return to school for another year. I thought he looked like a 4th round tight end then, but maybe that hurt him more than anything.
When Ricky decided to leave during his redshirt junior year, he starts to pick up steam with a position change. Even after a dazzling 4.69 at the combine, he underperforms at the rest of the events. Because of the flop, RSJ ends up undrafted, and signs with the Cardinals immediately after the draft.
He needed hard work, mental preparation, and persistence to make the roster. Seals-Jones begins his rise through the depth chart. His first challenge to stay on the roster is fellow undrafted tight end, Steven Wroblewski of Southern Utah, and Ricky blew him out before camp.
In preseason work, RSJ showed some potential as a pass-catcher, but seemed to lack the blocking ability that seemed necessary for a B.A. system. Because of the lack of blocking, Seals-Jones doesn’t make the final 53-man roster. It took him until week two to be promoted to the regular season roster, and it took another nine weeks to make an impact.
We aren’t going to see Ricky become a pro-bowl tight end this season (it’s kind of too late), but his promise is enticing after a two-touchdown performance at Houston.
My hope is that Bruce Arians (or whoever the coach is) sees the potential of this former five-star recruit, and maybe uses the time to work on the kid. Jermaine Gresham was rewarded with a big contract this offseason, but has been limited in his production. Some could be blamed because of the lack of quarterback play, but it’s not just that.
Just seems like another Keim time signing, but he can make it up getting a future block for the team. A cheaper solution would be Seals-Jones, and unless we can get out of that horrendous contract, we could be stuck with Gresham. Who cares? It’s for the next GM (or Keim?) to figure out. Go Cards.