Scouting Report: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
A fantasy factor?
C.J. Fiedorowicz is going to play in the NFL. There’s no doubt about that. He’s probably going to be a starting tight end somewhere and it could happen as soon as next year. I say this because the Iowa product is a very big, very complete player whose size and speed combo is as rare as it is sought after. At six foot five and 265 pounds, Fiedorowicz is above and beyond prototypically sized and he’s agile too with solid receiving skills. We have very little doubt that this kid’s going to be a good player. The question is, what kind of fantasy player can he be? Can he be a big offensive threat? This is what we’re here to figure out.
I sat in on Fiedorowicz’s press conference at the Combine and came away impressed in terms of his smarts. When asked what he accomplished at the Senior Bowl, Fiedorowicz said “I think I proved to some of the coaches that I can be a guy who can block in-line but also stretch the field. I think that might separate me from some of the other tight ends here.” The former Hawkeye also claims to have watched a lot of Rob Gronkowski’s tape as well as Aaron Hernandez’s. “Yeah. We watched a lot of him and Aaron Hernandez. I was watching him on film. I always used to watch him in games, but when you see it broken down on film it's even more impressive.”
When asked whether he got a bigger thrill from making a big block or from receiving Fiedorowicz gave the answer that teams like to hear. “Obviously it's awesome when you catch a big pass, but it's also awesome when you get a guy who breaks a 40-yard run, chasing him down after a big block you had. They're both just as important to a team's success.” Why did you go to Iowa? “Biggest thing was they used their tight ends. Their tight end tradition was pretty impressive with Dallas Clark, Tony Moeaki, Brandon Myers, Scott Chandler. They were all in the NFL.”
Fiedorowicz was impressive at the Combine. Let’s take a look at his numbers.
- Height - 6’5”
- Weight - 265 lbs
- Hands - 10 1/4”
- Bench - 25 reps
- 40 - 4.76
- Vertical Jump - 31.5”
- Broad Jump - 116”
- 3-Cone - 7.10
- 20 Yd Shuttle - 4.26
That’s a very positive set of digits. He’s not just big and fast. He’s strong with 25 reps on the bench and his top five performances in both the 3-Cone and 20 Yd Shuttle indicate that he’s got some solid agility for a man weighing 265 pounds.
Let's take a look at some of things we like about Fiedorowicz.
- Size/speed combo - You just don’t see many 265 pound players with the kind of movement skills that this kid has.
- Versatility - He’s effectively giving you a full-time tackle eligible option in your offense, but you can also line him up as a slot receiver. He gives teams a pre-snap chess piece if they choose to use him that way.
- Hands - We like what we’ve seen in terms of catching the football for the most part, with a few hiccups here and there. He’s shown the ability to make tough catches with defender(s) fully engaged. He’s also shown some ability to track the deep ball and stretch the seam though we’d have liked to see more of this. The Iowa offense, which often employs three tight ends, does not lend itself to highlights in the passing game.
- Blocking - While it may not light up the lives of fantasy GMs, Fiedorowicz blocks effectively and, with some improved technique, could become outstanding.
- Agility - Though you’d never know it to look at his stats, this is a player who can actually make a defender miss on occasion and can gain separation on routes when engaged with larger defenders. This is more of a projection, but he has the potential to do a lot more as a receiver professionally than he ever did at Iowa and his agility at 265 is a big part of the reason.
Let’s take a look at C.J on film. In this play, we see a bit of what the big tight end can do. He gets a piece of the rusher and is still able to get in position for the score.
Here’s a reel from this year’s game against Nebraska. He runs a nice route on the touchdown.
Here’s a look at C.J. this season versus LSU.
After taking an extensive look at C.J. Fiedorowicz, we have no doubts about his talents. This guy can absolutely play at the next level, but he does need to be pushed. We want to see the next level athleticism more consistently. Not to say this guy dogs it, because he doesn’t, but we think he can be more consistently explosive in his blocking and with his routes.
For C.J. to end up having legit fantasy value, he will need to go to a team that uses the conventional tight end as an integral part of their offense. The Giants would probably be a perfect fit. We also like the idea of him in New England, Atlanta or Miami. Right now, in a generic sense, we see the Iowa product as a solid two-way tight end like Heath Miller who could perform at a similar level with just a bit of improvement. He’s probably not a priority for those drafting in dynasty leagues, unless he lands in the right place. If he does, he can be a fantasy threat.
I’ll be back after the draft to refresh Fiedorowicz’s fantasy value.
Other 2014 Scouting Reports:
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
- Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A & M
- Dustin Vaughan, QB, West Texas A & M
- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
- Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU
- Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
- Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
- Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
- L'Damian Washington, WR, Missouri
- Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
- Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming
- Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
- Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
- Dri Archer, RB, Kent State
- Terrance West, RB, Towson
- Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern
- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
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