With the 157th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have selected Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah.
This was a bit of an odd pick, as not many foresaw Ozomah being drafted this year. He was primarily a blocking tight end in Auburn's offense, but did catch six touchdowns durig the past two seasons.
In 2014, Uzi caught 11 passes for 145 yards (13.2 avg.) and three scores. This came after a junior campaign in which he caught 11 balls for 154 yards (14.0 avg.) and three scores. Uzomah capped his career off with a 20-yard touchdown catch in a loss to Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day 2014.
After playing in the Medal of Honor all-star game, he was invited to participate in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. In the game he caught one pass for nine yards. Since the Bengals already have Tyler Eifert, Kevin Brock and Tyler Kroft, Uzomah will have a tough time earning a roster spot.
Here's Uzomah's NFL.com profile:
STRENGTHS Impressive on the hoof. Big, athletic body with room for even more muscle. Lined up at wide receiver, from the slot, inline and out of backfield. Routes are raw, but shows good feel for space. Above-average build-up speed to separate and threaten seams. Used out of backfield to mismatch linebackers on wheel routes. Showed focus hauling in challenging throws. Willing to make tough catches over the middle. Shows an ability to adjust as blocker in space and catch moving targets. Doesn't strike a blow as blocker, but once engaged, he can ride the bull and sustain for a while. Has traits to become a better blocker.
WEAKNESSES Lacks aggression and awareness as run blocker. Gets guys blocked with size over technique or tenaciousness. Doesn't strike a punch in run game or pass pro. Doesn't use size to manhandle cornerbacks when matched up one on one in the red zone. Raw and somewhat inexperienced. Played less than 42 percent of the total offensive snaps for Auburn over last two seasons and made just 22 catches during that time frame. Allows throws to get on top of him. Late readiness with hands, making adjustments to poorly thrown balls difficult.
DRAFT PROJECTION Priority free agent
NFL COMPARISON Richard Rodgers
BOTTOM LINE Former high school wide receiver who still plays the game with a wide receiver's mindset rather than a tight end's. Must get tougher and more physical to become a serviceable in-line blocker but that might not happen. Underutilized in Auburn's limited passing game and could become a much more productive move tight end in the pros than he was in college.
Bengals coaches see Uzomah as somewhat raw because of offense he played in at Auburn. Never had a position coach in college.— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) May 2, 2015
Uzomah is big boy at 6-5, 263 pounds. Not a big contributor in 14, but would classify as untapped-potential type in terms of athleticism.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) May 2, 2015