Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow II, Greg Olsen and Jimmy Graham. While Miami (FL) is known for producing many NFL great players. Above all, it is known as “Tight End U” for a reason. Can junior David Njoku be the next one?
Njoku, a 6’4 240-pounder from Cedar Grove, New Jersey, caught 43 passes for 698 yards. He also had eight touchdowns for the Hurricanes during the 2016 season.
Thanks to its rich history of producing Super Bowl champs such as the aforementioned Shockey and All-Pro and Pro Bowl standouts such as Franks, Winslow II, Olsen, Graham—who played basketball, before converting to tight end—and current stars such as Oakland Raiders tight end Clive Walford, Miami has been a proverbial tight end factory for almost 30 years.
Thanks to his ability to flex out as a receiver and a combination of speed and agility, David Njoku could very well be a mid-to-late first round target for teams looking for a pass-catching tight end. Teams such as the hometown Miami Dolphins, home state New York Giants could be two if the teams looking to line up his services.
Despite catching 43 passes for 698 yards, Njoku scored eight touchdowns while displaying elite athleticism. Njoku may have made the argument of establishing himself as the top tight end in this year’s draft class. Thanks to running a 4.64 in the 40 and recording an impressive 37.5 inch vertical at the recent NFL Scouting Combine.
Others such as former Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, Ole Miss’ Evan Ingram, and Clemson’s Jordan Legette may also have a case. Namely, Njoku has one advantage over his rivals. That is the storied reputation and tradition of Hurricane tight ends in the NFL.
Will David Njoku’s athletic skills and raw talent end up translating well to the NFL? If so, they will add his name to that elite fraternity. That is that fraternity of NFL tight ends to come from “The U”.