Ricky Seals-Jones had a productive career at Texas A&M as a receiver, catching 123 passes for 1,442 yards and 10 touchdowns. But the former five-star recruit went undrafted, and the Cardinals moved him to tight end.
“Once I left A&M and started training, I kind of took that route of putting a little bit more weight on, learning how to block and running routes with the hand in the dirt,” Seals-Jones said, via Kyle Odegard of the team website. “Once the process started going and talking to a lot of teams, they were like, ‘How do you feel about tight end?’ I kind of knew from there I needed to start working on that, so when I came in it wasn’t brand new.”
Seals-Jones chose the right spot to try to make the transition to tight end. The Cardinals have Ifeanyi Momah, Jermaine Gresham, Troy Niklas and Hakeem Valles returning at the position, but only Gresham has extensive experience.
Gresham has played seven seasons, playing in 105 games with 93 starts. The other three have a combined five seasons, 42 games, nine starts, 10 catches, 121 yards and two touchdowns. Momah can serve as an example for Seals-Jones, having made the switch from receiver to tight end and started a game last season, making two catches for 50 yards.
Still, the 6-foot-5, 247-pound Seals-Jones, who is Eric Dickerson’s cousin, has a steep learning curve.
“My biggest thing is learning the footwork technique of being on the line of scrimmage,” Seals-Jones said. “At A&M, you’d just give them a two-way go for the running back. Here, you may have to step in and seal [the defender on a running play], might have to wash them down. Doing footwork technique, that will make me a lot better.”