PHILADELPHIA – With the No. 29 pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns selected David Njoku, a tight end from Miami.
Here's some information on Njoku's draft profile from NFL.com:
NFL teams looking for an athletic tight end should book their tickets for Coral Gables just about every year. Njoku (pronounced nJOE-koo) is the next highly-rated end to enter the NFL, following Jeremy Shockey, Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, Kevin Everett, and Kellen Winslow II. The former high school receiver and national boys high jump champion only started nine games in his two years on the field with the Hurricanes, but was a regular option in the passing game. He caught 21 passes for 362 yards and a touchdown as a redshirt sophomore, leading the team by averaging 17.2 yards per reception. In 2016, Njoku didn't win all-conference honors because the ACC was stacked at the position, but he was a major threat in the red zone (43-698, eight TDs).
Great muscular definition with long arms and room for 10 more pounds. Elite athlete and seam buster deluxe. Can stick a foot in the ground and break in either direction at a 90-degree angle in shorter routes. Tremendous acceleration out of breaks to separate and widen the window for quarterbacks. Opens the throttle in open field. When he catches it on the move, the YAC yards can become an avalanche. Was 7 foot high-jumper in high school and can go up and over most everyone he faces. Hand quickness to get a last second push-off and still get hands up to secure catch. Finds soft spots against zones. Plays outside, from the slot and in-line. Willing to compete as a blocker. Can push defensive backs around from slot. Gets early arm extension into defender and looks to create some turn. Shows lateral blocking ability for zone scheme.
Inexperienced at the position and still a work in progress. Needs to add to his play strength to handle in-line blocking as a pro. Don't skip leg days, bro. Struggled badly to stay in front of Pitt powerhouse Ejuan Price. Hands too high and wide at point of attack. Inconsistent hands over two years at Miami. Focus drops were a problem. Had eight drops over last two seasons for drop rate over 11 percent. Speed allows him to uncover on downfield routes and hasn't had to learn nuances of setting up defenders with route work. Needs to get head around and find ball quicker when working over top of linebacker.
Draft projection: Round 1
NFL comparison: Greg Olsen
Ascending pass catching talent with elite athleticism and enough fight in his run blocking to believe that he can be lined up anywhere on the field at any time. Njoku should annihilate the combine with monster numbers in speed and explosion, but his play on the field shows he's more than a combine warrior. He is still growing into his body and has to add to his play strength, but his playmaking potential and elite traits should make him a first-round pick and a future Pro Bowler.
-- Lance Zierlein