Scouting Report: TE Mike Seidman

Posted May 23, 2007

Four years ago, Mike Seidman was a hot tight end prospect, but an unlikely series of injuries robbed him of a chance to contribute in the NFL. Forgotten by Carolina, he's getting a chance to turn it all around in Indianapolis

Mike Seidman TE UCLA

Numbers: 6044/261, 4.80 forty

2006 stats: none

The Player: Back in 2003, if you were looking at a tight end in the draft, you wanted Jason Witten, Bennie Joppru, Dallas Clark, L.J. Smith or Mike Seidman. Since then, they have had wildly divergent results as pros:

Witten (252-2,838-14 receiving)

Joppru (0-0-0)

Clark (121-1,618-14)

Smith (172-1,991-14)

Seidman (18-258-2)

Ironically, Seidman was considered the safe choice. After a senior season that saw him go 34-535-4 after a 41-631-5 junior year in a pro-style offense, Seidman had NFL teams salivating over him. He could get open, catch the ball and make yards after the catch. He wasn't that great of an in-line blocker, but he could lay a wallop on the move and, well, at 261 pounds, he could always learn. While he wasn't the most explosive guy around, he ran routes sharp enough to cut a diamond.

Mike Seidman during his UCLA days (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
What made Seidman the safe pick was the fact that he'd never missed a single snap due to injury in college. But if the Seidman story was a movie, the hernia that prevented him from attending the Combine would have been obvious foreshadowing. As soon as he became a pro (he was drafted in the third round by Carolina), the injuries started happening. Seidman appeared in a number of games, but never seemed to be totally healthy and never got beyond third-string, despite his obvious talent.

So now, Seidman's body resembles a 1976 Chevy Nova that's run over a few land mines. But the kid always could get open, catch and fight for yards. If he's got anything left, he's a bargain.

Reminds me of: There's a temptation to compare Seidman to Cam Cleeland, the super-talented tight end who just wasn't tough enough to play in the NFL. But I don't think Seidman lacks toughness, I just think he's had a rough run of things. Instead, I think Seidman is more like former Jets first-rounder Anthony Becht, a talented but luckless player who contributes when he plays.

How he fits: Casual observers think the Colts are stacked at tight end. After all, they have Clark, Ben Utecht and Bryan Fletcher, all of whom have hands, brains and a few big plays on their resumes. In fact, both Clark and Utecht have Pro Bowl skills. But they are both injury prone — Utecht, in particular, is extremely fragile — and Fletcher is shockingly inconsistent. Since the Colts use two tight-ends on about 40 percent of offensive snaps, they are constantly in need of new talent.

If Seidman can still move anything close to like he did as a college senior, he could be a valuable addition and even fight Fletcher for the No. 3 spot. If not, he's an easy cut.

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