Road to the Draft: Iowa's C.J. Fiedorowicz

Road to the Draft: Iowa's C.J. Fiedorowicz
April 16, 2014, 2:00 pm
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30 for 29: This is the tenth in a daily series of looks at 30 prospects the Patriots may consider selecting with the 29th overall pick at the 2014 NFL Draft.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
6-7, 265 pounds, 10/22/91
2013: 30 receptions, 299 yards, 6 TDs
2012: 45-433-1
2011: 16-67-3
2010: no stats
Native of Johnsburg, Illinois. Saw time as a true freshman in 2010 and finished his time with Hawkeyes as an All-Big Ten selection by the conference’s coaches. Finished high school basketball career as school’s leading scorer. Returned punts and kickoffs in high school in addition to all the other things one would expect a massive Division I athlete to do. Played every game at Iowa. No injuries listed during his time at Iowa. Was under the tutelage of tight ends coach D.J. Hernandez at Iowa, brother of Aaron. At NFL Combine: 4.76 40; 25 bench reps; 31.5-inch vertical; 9-8 broad jump; 4.26 shuttle; 7.10 three-cone.

Huge player with excellent blocking skills (exhibited here) and a smooth receiver. Runs well after the catch, shows good balance and can take a hit. Durable as evidenced by his playing every game. Runs sharp routes and shows knack for adjusting to ball. No awkwardness at all.
Doesn’t show great explosiveness. Nice numbers in vertical and broad jump. Reaches a little bit as a blocker and doesn’t sink hips in some instances. Modest production his final season at Iowa. I’m not seeing a lot of negatives.
This is almost a no-brainer. Rob Gronkowski breaks often. This kid is a virtual replica – not as fast or as good an athlete – but not brittle either. You take him. He assumes Gronk roles if 87 can’t play or becomes that classic tight end if the Patriots want to use Gronk split out or in the slot. You can run with smurf wideouts if you have two tight ends like this. And if the Patriots pass on picking up Gronk’s option in 2015, here’s your replacement.The Patriots are hosting him on a predraft visit.
Projected as a later-round pick but – given the Patriots penchant for taking players where they like them and damning the evaluations elsewhere – Fiedorowicz seems like a player they could reach for.