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NFL Combine Profile: C.J. Fiedorowicz

BY RYAN PROBASCO | FEBRUARY 19, 2014 5:00 AM

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When C.J. Fiedorowicz enrolled at Iowa as a four-star recruit in the fall of 2010, many dubbed the Johnsburg, Ill., native as the next man up in the Hawkeyes’ long line of successful tight ends.  

Although his presence was always felt in the Iowa offense, there’s no debating that Fiedorowicz’s results never fully reached the potential fans and followers of the program thought it would produce.

The now 6-7, 265-pound receiver set a career high in touchdowns with 6 this past season but only hauled in 30 passes for 299 yards.

The lack of consistent production from a player so skilled was dually frustrating, considering he decommitted from Illinois in favor of Iowa because he didn’t believe the Illini used tight ends efficiently.

But despite his underwhelming output in box scores, NFL scouts and draft pundits still seem to be in love with the upside of Fiedorowicz’s game.

Dane Brugler, the owner/operator of nfldraftsource.com, offered his analysis of Fiedorowicz on CBS Sports’ NFL draft database.

“Good versatility, showing the ability to come off a down block to get past defenders as a receiver,” Brugler said. “Good body control and soft hands for such a large man, traits that have led Washington junior Austin Seferian-Jenkins to earn a lot of attention as a possible first-round pick.

“Fiedorowicz isn’t as flashy as [Seferian-Jenkins], but he’s just as big and fast in a straight line and is a much more physical and attentive blocker.”

The praise for Fiedorowicz’s skills hasn’t stopped there. Phil Savage, the executive director of the prospect-heavy Senior Bowl, graded Fiedorowicz as the top tight end at the conclusion of the 2014 event.

“C.J. won the Alabama Power Most Outstanding Receiver for the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday practices,” Savage wrote. “He has excellent size with a proportioned body and is physical enough to continue developing as a blocker. He demonstrated more suddenness in and out of his cuts that will allow him to get separation when facing man coverage.

“His hands are dependable, and he provides a large catching radius for the QB. Expect to see C.J. get on the field as a rookie in two- and three-TE personnel groupings. He has the physical development and mental maturity to contribute in his first year.”

In Savage’s “career forecast” portion of his report, he wrote that Fiedorowicz is a “potential starter (within three seasons).”

Currently, you’ll find Fiedorowicz’s name anywhere from the second to fourth rounds on the blogosphere’s mock drafts.

In his defense, Fiedorowicz was never fully utilized in the Hawkeye offense, and his numbers show that. But at the same time, you have to wonder how much of his disappointing stat line had to do with the scheme and tendencies of Iowa’s offense, and how much of it was actually correlative to Fiedorowicz’s talent.

If he is to succeed in the NFL, the 22-year old will have to be more assertive and demanding in the passing game than he was at Iowa.

And if he and his eventual team can figure out a way to have his skills translate to results on paper, Fiedorowicz will easily be the most successful pro of the 2014 Iowa draft class.


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