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C.J. Uzomah 'lit it up' in Bengals OTAs; should make 53-man roster

C.J. Uzomah is now in a great position to not only make the final roster, but get significant playing time if no other tight ends are added before the NFL season begins.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest revelations of Bengals OTAs was rookie tight end C.J. Uzomah.

A fifth-round pick out of Auburn in this year's NFL draft, the 6'5", 260-pound Uzomah was primarily a blocking tight end in the Tigers' offense, but did catch six touchdowns during the past two seasons. His size and athleticism made him an attractive prospect for the Bengals, and he's doing his best to reward them.

Uzomah was a standout performer in OTAs who consistently drew praise from coaches and media. Geoff Hobson not only gave him a strong endorsement, but sees Uzomah making the final 53-man roster.

"In the last part of the spring, fifth-round C.J. Uzomah lit it up a bit with some catches down field and that looked impressive because he’s a very large man (6-5, 265 pounds) who can really get down field (4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash). Third-rounder Tyler Kroft still has the edge going into training camp because he’s the most experienced blocker, a skill not on display in the shorts and helmets of the spring. But both guys ought to make the final 53-man roster."

ESPN's Coley Harvey took another step, saying he thinks Uzomah may start at some point in 2015:

Although still comparatively raw, Uzomah -- a fifth-round selection -- seems to have a better handle on things than Kroft, who dropped his share of passes during organized team activities and minicamp. Because the Bengals likely will employ some two-tight end sets, look for Kroft, Uzomah (or even undrafted rookie Matt Lengel) to be among the rookies who potentially get playing time this year.

Before you right Uzomah off and say "it's just OTAs," remember that seventh-round pick James Wright was in a similar position last year. He was an unknown commodity who no one expected to be drafted (he didn't catch a pass his senior year), but had an impressive spring that continued in training camp and eventually ended with him making the 53-man roster.