Fiedorowicz seeing plenty of interest as draft day gets closer

Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz catches a pass during an NCAA college football open practice, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz catches a pass during an NCAA college football open practice, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) — Charlie Neibergall

At this point in his NFL Draft preparations, C.J. Fiedorowicz couldn't care less if he ever runs another 40-yard dash.

Instead, the Johnsburg native and former Iowa standout is devoted to promoting himself as the kind of dual-threat tight end that teams may be looking for when they stock their rosters with NFL rookies in May.

So as Fiedorowicz participated in Iowa's pro day on Monday in front of 28 pro scouts, he focused on building on what he did at the NFL Scouting Combine rather than trying to add to it.

Instead of trying to better his 4.76-second 40 time or his 7.10-second showing in the three-cone drill, Fiedorowicz used a 30-minute position workout with Cincinnati Bengals tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes to display what he hopes is an attractive skill set.

"I kind of felt like I left a little out there when I was doing position drills (in Indianapolis) when I dropped a few balls," Fiedorowicz said Tuesday. "I think (Monday) really proved that I can be that dual-threat guy where I can block but I can also receive.

"I wanted to prove to scouts that I can do both of those things."

Fiedorowicz felt his route-running was much sharper Monday than it was at the combine and was smoother coming out of breaks and moving downfield. Iowa's pro day wasn't open to the media, but former Dallas Cowboys executive and current senior analyst Gil Brandt offered mix reviews in his appraisal of Fiedorowicz.

"He is OK, but not great at catching the ball," Brandt wrote in an online blog. "But (he) is a really good blocker."

Since the combine, Fiedorowicz has remained a popular target. After meeting with every team in Indianapolis, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Fiedorowicz said six teams – Atlanta, Green Bay, New England, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Houston – have inquired most about him.

Fiedorowicz is scheduled to work out privately for the Cowboys and Texans on Friday in Iowa City. But he also has plans to visit Tampa Bay, Detroit, Atlanta and New England in the next month as he continues to show that he could be a valuable addition to an NFL roster.

Fiedorowicz is projected to be a third- or fourth-round selection.

With the combine and his pro day over, Fiedorowicz said the rest will come down to teams getting to know him off the field rather than him being judged by skills tests like the ones he went through in Indianapolis. He spends his free time researching what teams may be most apt to draft a tight end and works with his California-based agent, Jack Bechta, to put himself out to possible suitors.

As taxing as the past few months have been, Fiedorowicz knows the next six weeks will be the most critical.

"Doing all this training for 40s is hectic – it's basically a track meet," Fiedorowicz said. "It's not about football. It's a lot of nonsense that doesn't have anything to do with football. Now, they want to get to know you outside of football. A big part of it is what you've put out there on film. But it's also about what kind of person you are."

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