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C.J. Uzomah: A Scouting Report on Bengals’ New Tight End

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Jan 20, 2015; Fairhope, AL, USA; South squad tight end C.J. Uzomah of Auburn (88) cheers on fellow South squad players during practice at Fairhope Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

There was no question that the Cincinnati Bengals needed depth at tight end. With Jermaine Gresham‘s departure and Tyler Eifert‘s injuries, the Bengals had little at the position. They added Tyler Kroft in the third round, but they also decided to take a chance on a raw prospect in Auburn’s C.J. Uzomah.  Here is a look at the Bengals’ newest tight end.

Strengths

C.J. Uzomah offers an ideal body frame. He is quick off the snap and can accelerate immediately upon releasing. Uzomah plays with good balance and flexibility when blocking. He won’t leave himself vulnerable and likes to watch what the opponent is doing and then react. He can make tough, contested catches. He’s great at blocking down the field. Uses his speed to gain the correct angle and blocks immediately. Uzomah has good straight line speed in the seam. He was used as a tight end, slot receiver, and tail back at Auburn, which displays his versatility. Uses his body well to keep defenders away from the ball.

Weaknesses

Uzomah is prone to drop easy catches from time to time. He lacks elite speed and sometimes doesn’t go full speed off the snap. Uzomah needs to add upper body strength, though he has good lower body strength. He is a very raw, under-developed tight end. Uzomah is unable to separate from opponents, as he almost scripts his next move. His route running is very rough and raw, so it will take him time to learn proper NFL route running. Uzomah needs to build up speed whenever running routes that aren’t up the seam.

Summary

C.J. Uzomah is one of those players that has a ton of potential, but questions arise as to whether he can ever reach them. Uzomah puts forth effort on every block, but doesn’t always put forth effort when running routes if he knows the ball isn’t coming his way. He has the requisite upside to become an impactful tight end, but will have to learn the position and route running.

Uzomah could see time in the backfield as a fullback and possibly catch passes out of the backfield, but it all depends on how he develops. His athleticism makes him a very intriguing prospect, but his tape shows how raw he really is. Uzomah has a chance to make an impact on this team and be a chess piece for Hue Jackson to use, but he’ll have to work hard to earn that opportunity.

Next: Defining Dalton

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