Like many positions in this year’s NFL Draft, the tight end prospects are going to make teams very happy from day one with superb playmaking skills in the passing game and strong blocking skills in the running game. Iowa‘s C.J. Fiedorowicz certainly fits the mold would an ideal fit in Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy‘s West Coast offense.
At 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, Fiedorowicz possesses the size and strength teams are looking for in a tight end. Throughout the 2013-14 season, Fiedorowicz used those attributes to his advantage in space, eluding would-be tacklers and proving to be difficult to take down. While he didn’t rack up any gaudy numbers his senior year in Iowa City (30 receptions, 299 yards), his six touchdowns scored tied for fourth among tight ends.
The Illinois native also caught the eye of many scouts at the Senior Bowl with his performance throughout the week’s practice and Saturday’s game, garnering the Most Outstanding TE/WR award. He continued to turn heads at the NFL Combine with blazing speed given his mammoth size, running the sixth-fastest 40-yard dash at 4.76 seconds.
In a league where safeties are getting taller and more physical each year, Green Bay’s offense would only benefit from his wide wingspan and tall stature, especially down the seams and across the deep middle of the field. More so, a staple of the Packers tight ends has been versatility, meaning they’re able to line up in the slot, out wide, at the H-back position, and in the traditional three-point stance.
Fiedorowicz displayed this versatility plenty during his time in a Hawkeyes jersey, but he didn’t necessarily take advantage of it in big-time games. Despite having two touchdowns against three ranked teams (Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin), he merely registered eight catches for 66 yards. To add further insult to injury, he only caught four passes for 46 yards against SEC powerhouse LSU in the Outback Bowl.
With a slew of mid-round compensatory picks, GM Ted Thompson should seriously consider bolstering the TE position with Fiedorowicz. I know the team just signed Andrew Quarless to a two-year deal and have adequate backups with Ryan Taylor and Brian Bostick, but those guys aren’t playmakers; Fiedorowicz has all the attributes to be.