David NjokuTE Miami

6-4.1, 246, 6.97 3-Cone! 4.34 SS,

(O) 4.64, 11'1" Br! 37.5" Vert!

 21 Reps! 35 1/4" Arms! 

Leaping Into The 1st. 

By TOM

They will line him up outside the OLT, and he can look like a O-linemen in pass pro. He did a great job of getting low and extended his arms and punched and shoved. Then he would step out to the slot. He ran a lot of five yard comebacks in the slot. They liked to keep him in to block, to keep Kaaya clean. When he stayed low blocking he could be nasty. He will stand up and sealed the OLB with position only on runs away.

"I'm not afraid to block. I was never afraid to block," Njoku said. "I've been blocking since I was like 230 [pounds] against people who were 270. I'm just getting bigger and stronger every day, so I feel like blocking for me isn't a problem. Being coached by [Miami TE coach] Hartley, blocking is very important. They don't like just receiving tight ends because they don't believe in that, so they put down the hammer when it comes to blocking. It's very serious, so we took it as such."

Bigger D-ends gave him some trouble, but he did a nice job. He held onto his shirt just long enough for the RB to slash by. He did a terrific job getting to the safety on the bubble screen and blocked him completely out of the play. He was a great blocker on the 2nd level. Nice cut blocker. They really liked to throw it to him in the right flat on the goal line. He can run a nice tree down there.

He was a one-year wonder last season: 2016 (Redshirt Sophomore): Delivered dominant season at tight end, seeing action in all 13 games with five starts...Earned All-ACC Honorable Mention recognition from Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA)...Caught 43 passes totaling 698 yards with eight touchdowns...Averaged 16.2 yards per reception...Eight touchdowns were second-most...

Njoku is the elite athlete at the tight end position in this Draft. "You’re going to find out what my vertical is tomorrow," Njoku said. "Maybe you guys will be kind of impressed with that. High jump is a lot of power to run and get your body over seven feet. It’s very exciting." He had a 7'1" High jump in High school. 

Njoku was 246 pounds at the Combine. "Mostly, I’m looking forward to the broad [jump]," Njoku said before he unleashed a 11'1" Broad at the Combine. "Because I think I’m going to break a record tomorrow. We’ll see." The leg explosion to get that far at his weight is super freaky-yow

He was a redshirt sophomore. "It was a little bit surprising," a scout said. "Very smart kid with a goofy personality but no issues off the field. In high school he was a 7-1 high jumper. Really good athlete and run after the catch." He was still only 20-years old, and had OLT-like 35 1/4" arms.

He is a smooth easy runner. "I think my speed [best trait]," Njoku said. "I ran a 4.64, but I don't believe that's my game speed. I think I'm a lot faster than that. I've been running, when I was training, and hit like 4.4 consistently. So I'm not too worried about that." He is very light on his feet.

Njoku was a good blocker, but still needed some work in the run game. "I think every team asked that," Njoku said. "Like I said, first off, I didn’t perfect anything. I’m trying to better myself in every aspect with blocking and even speed, strength, route running or my hands. I don’t think I did anything to perfect anything, so I’m still working. If I continue to work, that’ll take me a long way." He looked like an OT sometimes in pass pro.

It is easy to forget how young he is, because he went to Miami as a 17-year old. "I don’t know how you can take an unproductive backup guy from an average team in the 1st or 2nd round," a scout said. "He’s going to blow the combine out and he’s a track guy. As far as a football player, he is a long ways away." He had two years of eligibility left:

2016 (Game-By-Game): Started season opener against Florida A&M (Sept. 3) and hauled in two passes for 15 yards...Caught two passes totaling 49 yards against FAU (Sept. 10)...Recorded long reception of 46 yards against Owls...Caught three passes totaling 69 yards with one touchdown in road win over Appalachian State (Sept. 17)...Had nine-yard touchdown in first quarter and added 54-yard reception in third quarter...Started against Georgia Tech (Oct. 1)...Recorded three catches in start against Florida State (Oct. 8)...Totaled career-best 82 yards on four receptions against North Carolina (Oct. 15), including long reception of 33 yards...Registered 69 yards against Virginia Tech (Oct. 20)...Caught three passes, including long catch of 48, against Hokies...Four-catch, 41-yard performance at Notre Dame (Oct. 29) included athletic touchdown catch of two yards...Had first multi-touchdown performance of career in win over Pittsburgh (Nov. 5)...Caught career-best six passes totaling 86 yards against Panthers, including touchdown catches of 12 and five yards...Recorded touchdown in third straight game in win at Virginia (Nov. 12)...Caught three passes for 16 yards against Cavaliers, including 7-yard TD...Tied career-high mark with six catches and totaled 72 yards in start at NC State (Nov. 19)...Both receptions in regular season finale win over Duke (Nov. 26) went for long touchdowns: career-long 76-yard touchdown in third quarter and 58-yard touchdown in fourth...Totaled career-high 134 yards on two receptions...Started and caught five passes for 44 yards, including 23-yard touchdown, in Russell Athletic Bowl victory over West Virginia (Dec. 28)...Elected to forego remaining eligibility to enter 2017 NFL Draft.

He is a great smart kid, from an amazing family. "A bunch of teams didn't know that I knew already what I know, if that makes any sense," Njoku said. "When it comes to reading defenses, fronts, coverages, techniques, everything, I think I aced most, if not all, of the combine meetings. Everyone said I did well, so I'm trying to show everybody that I'm more than just a receiver. I can block, I can read stuff as well, so I'm just trying to show everyone what I'm capable of doing." He has it all mentally.

If LSU is DB U, then Miami has to be TE U. "I didn't talk to was Bubba Franks," Njoku said. "I talked to everybody else: Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow (Jr), Greg Olsen, Clive Walford, you know Stan Dobard is going to the draft this year as well. Tey're all great people. I talked to Jeremy Shockey the most, probably. He's the guy I asked questions to if I ever needed anything. Greg Olsen is also a great guy. Me and Stan are very close. I tell him everything." TEs from Miami tend to work out in the NFL. 

Great hands catching through contact. "I try not to compare [myself to NFL guys], because I feel like the league and college are two different things. I'm trying to just see where I'm at when I get there," Njoku said. "I think [I compare to] Kellen Winslow on the field. He and I share the same speed. I might be able to jump a little higher, but he's a great athlete." He can run away from the safety on the 3rd level. 

He is a top competitor on the field. "That’s also what made me declare: people telling me to stay because of the big tight end class," Njoku said. "I love competition. I was the national high jump champion in high school at like 220 pounds. The next jumper was 30 pounds lighter. I love competing. So once people told me to stay, that made me want to declare even more because I want to go against the greats." You can see that it really does matter to him on the field.

Additional Note:

Combine: He will fight the ball sometimes. "I walked into the [interview] room [at the Combine] it was completely silent," Njoku said. "They didn't let me shake anyone's hands. I sat down, it was quiet for maybe 30 seconds, and the coach asked me, 'David, where does the sun rise and where does the sun set?' And I'm looking around and everyone has a straight face. No one's laughing. It's just serious. So I look around and I go, "OK, I remember the sun rises in the east and sets in the west." So I answer that, it's quiet for maybe 10 more seconds, and he's like, 'Okay, turn on the TV,' and we start talking about film. That threw me way off." There will be as many TEs drafted in the 1st as WRs. He had two Drops in the 1st Gauntlet. The reason I have Mayo over him is blocking and hands. Had a drop in 2nd gantlet. 

FLA ST: He will line up outside the OLT and block the DE. The OLT will help him, and then once Njoku has his hands on him the OLT will slide off. Nice form and balance in pass pro. Nice job sealing the DE outside the ORT on Draws. He is much better blocker in pass pro than in the fun game.

Georgia Tech: Nice job lined up as the H-back chipping on the DE, and then getting to the 2nd level to block the safety. He is terrific on the deep the In right over the middle that really helps his QB. He will run past the LB going down the seam, and leave him in the dust. He will line-up like a slot receiver, and go deep. 

Njoku Vs WVU:

He will whiff on blocks sometimes. But watch the effort to get back into the play. Je made the block with second and third effort (:07). He just looked so much smoother and more natural in pass pro (:19). Nice job run blocking the bigger DE. When he got low he showed he could get some movement (:29). Watch this great block. He shoved the DE into the ORT (:37). Then he slid off and hit the OLB.

Naturally got open running a power Out (:53). He had a lot of experience as a Slot receiver. He consistently got himself open with that power Out on either side (1:02). He showed he could get physical in patterns and shoved the little DB off (1:12). He did a nice job riding the OLB out of the play (1:22). I liked him more in pass pro, but he could run block as well. When he got hold of some shirt and held on for a while.

Watch the hand placement, the grip on the shirt, and those quick feet chuggin' along (1:32). When he lost position, he lost everything (1:49). Watch the burst and agility as he trapped the blitzing OLB outside (1:58). He can look like an OLT in pass pro. Watch the great form as he stoned the big 5-Tech at the line (2:05). He turned after the catch to block (2:12). He turned and bailed off the snap (2:31). The big DE had him, and he used his hands and feet to get the block.

They ran little screens to him from the slot when he disappeared for a while, which was good, because he was excellent with the ball in his hands after the catch (2:54). When he looked the ball in, he caught it every time. Then the great straight arm to collapse the DB to the ground (3:03). Then watch the great strength as he pulled his foot free, and burst forward. Then the great explosion as he took to the air like an elite high jumper (3:24). Watch the great seal that he took further, and drove the DB to the sideline (3:40). He is still a little erratic, but he is still only 20-years old. As he gets more consistent with age and experience, he could be a great one. 

Njoku Vs WVU:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMV31NB10C4

David Njoku Vs Pitt:

He did an excellent job chipping on the DE on the play action, and then snuck out to the flat for the easy catch (:21). He was great with the ball in his hands, and made guys miss with speed and power and ran for the TD. He flipped himself into the endzone, over the safety, against Pitt with a spectacular TD catch (:36). He has amazing explosion in his Vert, which he brought to the field.  

Nice explosion out of his stance into Pattern. He was a bit of a body catcher, but he was a weapon down the seam (:59). Nice burst off the snap to block the OLB on short yardage. He used his initial burst to get under the OLB, pushed him up, and then turned and sealed him (1:20). I am starting to be very impressed with his blocking, but when he got too high he lost power and position when blocking (1:29). However, he always gave great effort, and redoubled his effort when he lost, and tried to hit someone else. 

He lined up in the Slot, and always seemed to win down the Seam. He broke over the middle to burst open, and had that dynamic knack with the ball in his hands (1:37). He didn't always sustain blocks against the bigger guys as long as you'd like  (1:56). But he got into great position right off the snap. He just needs to get stronger. 

He made two of the prettiest TD catches you'll ever see against Pitt, but one was taken away because of a pick (2:04). He had a TD against Pitt on a fade route from inside the Five. It was a terribly thrown pass. He adjusted to the ball, through contact, and caught it low as he was shoved back on his butt out of bounds. 

He did a good job of getting his hands in the OLB's shirt, and held on  (2:42). Nice burst off the line to get into his pattern. He had some nice speed going down the seam (3:01). Nice job blocking on the edge. Didn't really push him back, but got in his way. He danced all the way around in a circle as the RB sliced behind him (3:22). He was a nice blocker on the second level (4:01). When he got his hands on the LB he held on for a while.

They ran screens to him when he didn't have any catches, and tried and get him going. He was so good running with the ball in his hands outside (4:10). Nice cut blocker (4:32). Struggled to catch the ball with his hands away from his body sometimes. He reminds me of Ben Watson (4:32). Athletically he can looked he can do anything he wanted on the field, except consistently catch the ball with his hands away from his body. 

Nice job improvising when the play broke down and his QB needed help. He worked his way open on the 2nd level when his QB needed him the most (5:11). He powered over the top of smaller DBs and ran through them and kept his balance. Then once he took off he was extremely tough to keep out the endzone (5:27). Nice job turning and spotting the ball a little behind him. He twisted his trunk and turned back for the ball thrown just a little behind him, and got his hands up to catch the ball. He let it into his body sometimes (5:49). That was as beautiful a trio of TD catches as you will see a TE have

Then like the last drop, he looked away just before the ball arrived. He was an elite runner for a TE after the catch. But his problem was that he peeked at the defense for a split second before he caught the ball, and dropped it (6:24). That was his Achilles heel.  

Njoku Vs Pitt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yWAS7Q8Phk

Njoku's Official Bio:

2016 ALL-ACC, HONORABLE MENTION (ACSMA)

2016 (Redshirt Sophomore): Delivered dominant season at tight end, seeing action in all 13 games with five starts...Earned All-ACC Honorable Mention recognition from Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA)...Caught 43 passes totaling 698 yards with eight touchdowns...Averaged 16.2 yards per reception...Eight touchdowns were second-most...Started season opener against Florida A&M (Sept. 3) and hauled in two passes for 15 yards...Caught two passes totaling 49 yards against FAU (Sept. 10)...Recorded long reception of 46 yards against Owls...Caught three passes totaling 69 yards with one touchdown in road win over Appalachian State (Sept. 17)...Had nine-yard touchdown in first quarter and added 54-yard reception in third quarter...Started against Georgia Tech (Oct. 1)...Recorded three catches in start against Florida State (Oct. 8)...Totaled career-best 82 yards on four receptions against North Carolina (Oct. 15), including long reception of 33 yards...Registered 69 yards against Virginia Tech (Oct. 20)...Caught three passes, including long catch of 48, against Hokies...Four-catch, 41-yard performance at Notre Dame (Oct. 29) included athletic touchdown catch of two yards...Had first multi-touchdown performance of career in win over Pittsburgh (Nov. 5)...Caught career-best six passes totaling 86 yards against Panthers, including touchdown catches of 12 and five yards...Recorded touchdown in third straight game in win at Virginia (Nov. 12)...Caught three passes for 16 yards against Cavaliers, including 7-yard TD...Tied career-high mark with six catches and totaled 72 yards in start at NC State (Nov. 19)...Both receptions in regular season finale win over Duke (Nov. 26) went for long touchdowns: career-long 76-yard touchdown in third quarter and 58-yard touchdown in fourth...Totaled career-high 134 yards on two receptions...Started and caught five passes for 44 yards, including 23-yard touchdown, in Russell Athletic Bowl victory over West Virginia (Dec. 28)...Elected to forego remaining eligibility to enter 2017 NFL Draft.

2015 (Redshirt Freshman): Saw action in all 13 games with four starts as team's top tight end target...Caught 21 passes for 362 yards...17.2 yards-per-catch average was tops on team...Had one touchdown and averaged 30.1 yards per game...Made career debut vs. Bethune-Cookman (Sept. 5), did not record any stats...Saw action at FAU (Sept. 11)...Caught first two passes of career in action vs. Nebraska (Sept. 19), including long catch of 13 yards...Lone catch at Cincinnati (Oct. 1) was 40-yard reception...Had two catches for 33 yards at Florida State (Oct. 10)...Had three catches for 50 yards vs. Virginia Tech (Oct. 17)...Made first start of career vs. Clemson (Oct. 24)...Caught two passes for 29 yards, including long of 26, at Duke (Oct. 31)...Caught first touchdown of career in start vs. Virginia (Nov. 7) on five-yard reception to open game's scoring...Added career-long 58-yard catch against Cavaliers...Had one 32-yard catch in first career start at North Carolina (Nov. 14)...Totaled 52 yards on two receptions, including 33-yard catch, against Georgia Tech (Nov. 21)...Had career-high five receptions in regular season finale at Pittsburgh (Nov. 27)...Totaled 39 yards against Panthers...Caught one pass against Washington State in Hyundai Sun Bowl (Dec. 26)...

2014 (True Freshman): Did not see any game action, redshirted to retain eligibility.

NJOKU-CAREER-STATISTICS
SEASON G-GS REC YDS AVG TD LG
2016 13-5 43 698 16.2 8 76T
2015 13-4 21 362 17.2 1 58
CAREER 26-9 64 1,060 16.6 9 76T

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