SPORTS

Fiedorowicz goes to Houston

Tight end first Iowa player selected in NFL draft

Iowa Hawkeyes tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (86) runs with the ball ahead Western Michigan Broncos linebacker Keion Adams (12) on a fourth down conversion in the first quarter of their game at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Iowa City. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)
Iowa Hawkeyes tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (86) runs with the ball ahead Western Michigan Broncos linebacker Keion Adams (12) on a fourth down conversion in the first quarter of their game at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Iowa City. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)

IOWA CITY — Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz was selected by the Houston Texans in the third round of tonight’s NFL draft.

Fiedorowicz, who was measured at 6 feet, 5 1/2 inches and 265 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine, was taken 65th overall and is the eighth tight end drafted under Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz. He was named first team all-Big Ten by league coaches this year after catching 30 passes of 45 targets for 299 yards and six touchdowns.

Fiedorowicz, who hails from Johnsburg, Ill., improved as a blocker during his career and became one of the Big Ten’s best last year. He averaged six knockdown blocks per game and he executed 10 blocks that resulted into touchdowns. He started 20 games at Iowa and caught 91 passes for 899 yards and 10 touchdowns.

“He’s one of the few tight ends in this class that you feel good saying he’s got a chance to be an in-line blocker in the National Football League,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said. “He’s got the size. I think he could learn to get his pads down and play with a little bit better leverage but he’s very effective as a front-side, in-line blocker and I think he’s going to do a nice job at the next level.

Over the last two years Fiedorowicz recorded 75 catches on 109 targets. He turned 36 catches into first downs, including 14 on third down. He caught passes in his final 31 games, the second-longest streak for a tight end in college football.

The Texans have four tight ends on their roster: Garrett Graham, Ryan Griffin, Zach Potter and Philip Supernaw.

“A big-bodied tight end you can line up in-line,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. “He can get down the field a little bit. The more tape I watch, the more I liked of this kid.”

Houston is coached by former Penn State Coach Bill O’Brien, who formerly worked with Iowa offensive line coach Brian Ferentz in New England.

l Comments: (319) 339-3169; scott.dochterman@sourcemedia.net

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