TEWes Saxton

South Alabama — Sun Belt
  • Height: 6'4
  • Weight: 235
  • Hometown: Hueytown, Ala.
  • Age: 21

Background

Wes will be 21 years old on Draft Day 2015. He played his senior year of high school football at Hueytown (Ala.) with Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. As a late academic qualifier in 2011, he enrolled at Itawamba Community College (Miss.) and caught 10 passes for 137 yards to earn second team All-State honors from the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges. He chose South Alabama over Arkansas, Memphis, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss and signed with the Jaguars in 2012. As a sophomore, he grabbed 26 passes for 336 yards (12.9avg) and one touchdown in six starts. Last year as a junior, he started all 12 games and was tabbed first team All-Sun Belt Conference after making 50 receptions for 635 yards (12.7avg), including a 10-catch game vs. Texas State. He is a preseason All-SBC choice for this season and is expected to graduate with a Leisure Studies degree in the spring of 2015.

Pre-Draft Participation

N/A

Summary

Wes is a fourth-year senior and has started for two-and-a-half seasons as a tight end/H-back for South Alabama. After playing wide receiver in high school and being a late academic NCAA qualifier, he spent the 2011 campaign at Itawamba CC before signing with the Jaguars in 2012. He started six, but participated in all 13 games and caught 26 passes as a sophomore. In 2013, he opened all 12 South Alabama games and ended the year with 50 receptions, which earned him first team All-SBC recognition.

Wes came to Mobile in the 215-220lb range and has since added about 20lbs to his lean, angular frame. He is more developed in his lower body than through his chest, shoulders and arms, so he should be able to get into the 240’s prior to next spring’s NFL Draft.

This senior aligns in multiple positions for the Jaguars' offense. He is utilized as an on-the-line Y, H-back or wing, in the slot and from the backfield. The strength of his game is as a receiver. He catches the ball extremely well and is willing to extend his hands for the football. He has a natural approach and will catch the ball away from his body. His catching radius is large because of his long arms and ability to slide low in traffic. Wes has subtle quickness in his route running with the athletic talent to change speeds and then drop his weight and get in-and-out of a break.

As a blocker, he is a work-in-progress. With a wide receiver background, he is most comfortable on the perimeter where he can stalk block and use his height to ward off defenders. Wes is not explosive from his three-point stance as an inline tight end and lacks the power to engage and move opponents. At this point, he is a position-oriented/get-in-the-way style of player.  Still, as an H, he is capable of motioning or pulling across the formation and getting to his assignment, but again, needs to do a better job of finishing the play. This prospect needs refinement and a technique overhaul in blocking, however, with additional weight and strength and a will to compete, he can improve in the future.

Overall, Wes is a draft-worthy candidate as an H-back/second tight end because of his height, athletic ability and ball skills. At this time, he is almost a one-dimensional pass catcher that can threaten the seam and deep middle part of the field with his vertical speed. He is somewhat reminiscent, but not as accomplished as former UL-Lafayette TE Ladarius Green who was drafted in the fourth round by the San Diego Chargers in 2012. Both have length, can run and catch, but leave something to be desired as line-of-scrimmage blockers. Wes should be in store for a productive season at South Alabama, so he will certainly get an NFL opportunity next spring as a mid-to-late round selection.

What the NFL scouts want to see in 2014: For Wes to be more physical and aggressive as a blocker and to have more TD production in the red zone.

-- Phil Savage, Executive Director of Reese's Senior Bowl