DraftBrowns.com Editor: Brendan Leister
Position: Tight End
Jersey Number: #86
Size: 6’7″, 265 lbs.
Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz broke out during his junior season in 2012. After a 2011 campaign in which he caught only 16 passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns, Fiedorowicz caught 45 passes for 433 yards and one touchdown. Although his touchdown total went down to only one, his catches and yards nearly tripled. If Fiedorowicz can make a similar jump in production (while producing more touchdowns) during his senior season, it could pay dividends when the 2014 NFL Draft comes around.
As a receiver, Fiedorowicz is a massive target with very soft hands. As opposed to being a body catcher, he consistently catches the ball with his hands away from his body. He fights for yards after the catch, but often struggles to make defenders miss due to a lack of quick-twitch ability. Although he lacks great athletic ability, his massive frame and strong hands allow Fiedorowicz to run down the seam of the defense and make difficult catches in traffic. As a route runner, Fiedorowicz must rely on his size and strength to push defenders around because of his struggles with consistently creating separation. However, he has a knack for finding holes between zones and getting open underneath the coverage. At the end of the day, Fiedorowicz may not be the most explosive athlete at the tight end position, but he is certainly a valuable option as a possession receiver.
Overall, Fiedorowicz is a very strong blocker who shows great upside in this area. At the point of attack, Fiedorowicz has the strength to move most defenders where he wants them to go. He also has a knack for sealing off defenders and creating running lanes. It is apparent that Fiedorowicz takes his craft seriously as he consistently gives great effort as a blocker. The one area where I really feel that Fiedorowicz could improve is in his technique. Three keys to being a great run blocker are keeping hands inside the defender’s shoulder pads, “grabbing cloth”, and driving legs on contact. Although he does these things most of the time, there are too many times where Fiedorowicz resorts to pushing the defender away repeatedly without engaging and sustaining the block. Against more athletic defenders, this technique can lead to badly missed blocks due to not staying engaged throughout the block attempt. One specific issue this technique can cause is if Fiedorowicz misses his initial attempt at pushing the defender, it may cause him to lose his balance and fall forward. As we all know, a loss of balance and falling forward is not something that happens on successful blocks. With all of this being said, Fiedorowicz does a very good job for the most part and if he works to correct these technical issues, he has a chance to become a great blocking tight end at the next level.
All in all, C.J. Fiedorowicz is a prototypical in-line tight end with good, but not great, athletic ability. Although he has some experience in the slot, Fiedorowicz is not the type of explosive, versatile tight end that every offensive coordinator seems to be looking for nowadays. At the next level, Fiedorowicz’s calling card will likely be in his value as a blocker and ability to make tough catches on third down. There is most definitely a place in today’s NFL for C.J. Fiedorowicz and with a great senior season, he could be an early selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Games Viewed: 2012 Michigan, 2012 Iowa State, 2012 Purdue, 2012 Nebraska
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