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Bengals TE coach scouts C.J. Fiedorowicz at Iowa Pro Day

With Alex Smith leaving for free agency, the Bengals figure to acquire a blocking-specific tight end during the NFL draft or the hours afterward when undrafted players are signed.


Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jonathan Hayes had a busy week.

Prior to his visit at North Carolina's Pro Day on Wednesday, Hayes ventured to Iowa on Monday to check out Hawkeyes tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. senior writer Gil Brandt writes that Fiedorowicz is "ok, but not great at catching the ball, but is a really good blocker."

Fiedorowicz is listed as the fifth-best tight end entering the 2014 NFL draft, whose biggest strength is as a blocker writes ESPN.

Doesn't always keep pads down and slides off at times but effective front-side in-line blocker that can get into position and cover up defensive ends long enough to create seam for back. Average body control and struggles to adjust to moving targets in space but sound angles and can seal off linebackers. Effective pass blocker. Sets high but shoots hands inside and stays in front of defenders.

With Alex Smith available in free agency, the Bengals have three tight ends under contract. Their top two, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert, are characterized as pass catchers and Cincinnati has always relied on blocking-specific ends in big formations. Orson Charles is another possibility, who is labeled as the more identified "H-Back" (a tight end that typically plays out of the fullback spot).