In the 2017 NFL Draft, David Njoku will be joining a prominent list of tight ends that tend to do well coming out of the University of Miami.
Since the turn of the century, seven Miami players at that position were drafted, and four became household names in the NFL. Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow, and Greg Olsen were first round draft picks and Jimmy Graham was a third round pick.
Tight end David Njoku is a former high school wide receiver and a national high jump champion. Despite only nine starts, he was a main target for the Miami Hurricanes. In his final season on campus, he had 43 catches, 698 yards, and eight touchdowns.
Hitting the seam route has become vogue for quarterbacks and tight ends in today’s game, and he’s definitely one who can hit the seam with regularity. With an NFL strength and conditioning program, he will be able to add the weight he needs to become a matchup nightmare, being too athletic and fast for linebackers and too big for safeties.
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His experience as a high jumper is crucial to his success. With Njoku’s ability to jump it gives him a wide receiver skill in the middle of the field.
He’s a willing blocker in-line, and he’s great blocking on the outside against cornerbacks. He can also fit any zone blocking scheme.
He started out his college career as a wide receiver, and he’s still raw as a tight end. While he shows a willingness to block as an in-line tight end, he will need to get stronger in the NFL.
As a receiver, he had issues with drops. He has eight drops for a drop rate of 11%. He hasn’t learned how to uses route technique to uncover rather than using his speed. Njoku needs to find the ball quicker.
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
The tape shows that he’s a quality receiver with raw but growing talent. He capable enough in the running game as an in-line tight end to be able to be used anywhere on the field. His floor is high, but his ceiling is higher. With the right coaching, he has the talent to make a few Pro Bowls, and he’s definitely a first-round pick.