CJ Fiedorowicz: A Closer Look at the Iowa TE
By: Justin Partlow
One of the more underrated TE’s in all of college football has easily been CJ Fiedorowicz from Iowa. This is mainly due to the fact that he’s asked to be more of an inline blocker and hasn’t been a huge focus of the team, but that hasn’t diminished the value that people can see when they watch Fiedorowicz. With his very good blocking ability, his underrated athleticism, and his team first mentality he brings to the table, Fiedorowicz will be one of the best TE investments a team can make in the 2014 NFL Draft.
While not the most athletic guy on the field, Fiedorowicz shows very good athleticism for a TE and can beat his defender for position and make tough catches. At his height and weight, CJ does a very good job of using his athleticism to make plays, even though he’s not the main focal point of the offense. Teams will have some reservations as the NFL is looking for more of the “joker” type TE’s who can flex out as a WR or play in the slot as a TE, but make no mistake CJ will be successful because of what he does well on the field between his athleticism and his very good technique he already has.
This is what sets Fiedorowicz apart from the other entire high end TE’s in this class with the exception of Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. Fiedorowicz is one of the premier blockers in college football at his position and will routinely drive his defender back off the ball and displays an impressive punch for a TE. What I find impressive about Fiedorowicz is his ability to always keep his feet moving and take his defender down the field with ease because of his leverage he plays with. Teams will fall in love with this part of Fiedorowicz’s game because of the ability to become a goal line TE early on along with having the ability to make plays all over the field for them.
This is easily the most underrated part of Fiedorowicz’s game simply due to what has been alluded to earlier with Fiedorowicz. Iowa has been built on being a smash mouth team that likes to play the “old school” way and that leads to a lot of games where Fiedorowicz wouldn’t get many touches. When Fiedorowicz would get the ball, it was impressive to see, and almost frustrating because if he goes to any other school that throws more, he’s a different viewed prospect. When Fiedorowicz is out making plays in the passing game, he displays a very natural catching ability. Fiedorowicz is very impressive in his ability to pluck the ball out of the air, instead of letting the ball into his chest. Look for teams to utilize Fiedorowicz as a big time red-zone target due to his size and ability to box out defenders.
As I mentioned earlier, if Fiedorowicz plays for another team that throws the ball more, then he’s seen as an earlier prospect. Due to Fiedorowicz being more of a secondary focus in the Iowa offense, he wasn’t able to get the credit or publicity that was deserved and this has led to him being an under the radar prospect. Look for a team to “steal” Fiedorowicz in the middle rounds and turn him into a very good TE who plays in the NFL for a very long time. Fiedorowicz would be an extremely good fit for a team who already has a good joker TE and is looking for someone to pair with that TE.