Seahawks TE AJ Barner sets a high bar for himself going into the NFL

Without a doubt my personal greatest frustration with the Seattle Seahawks offense for several years now has been how they utilized their tight ends… or, rather, how they didn’t. Despite a talented trio in Noah Fant, Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson, offensive coordinator Shane Waldron seemed unwilling or unable to find a way to get them involved in a meaningful way.

Now, Parkinson and Dissly are gone, but Fant remains, and he is now paired with rookie AJ Barner from Michigan. Initially, Barner was pegged as a blocking tight end. It may not be flashy, but it is substantive.

However, the Seahawks may have uncovered a diamond in the rough. There are those who feel as if his receiving skills have untapped potential, seeing as though he played in the run-heavy Wolverines offense. It appears Barner himself might agree with these opinions, as he recently revealed what he told offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb after he was picked, per the team website.

“You guys just got a steal. I waited a long time, but I’m ready to go. I’m going to do everything I can to bring this team a championship. I want to be one of the best tight ends in the league, and I’m not going to settle until I do that.”

Although Barner clearly has his sights set high, for now, he is willing to fill whatever role the Seahawks have for him. Sometimes doing whatever it takes means doing dirty work in the trenches. But perhaps that won’t be the case forever. The onus now falls on Grubb to see how creative he can get with Barner, and the rest of an offense loaded with talent at every skill position.

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Story originally appeared on Seahawks Wire