NY Jets tight end C.J. Uzomah is incredibly well-rounded at the position
My biggest gripe with Joe Douglas popped up during the 2021 NFL offseason when he simply did not address the New York Jets tight end position in a sufficient manner.
A position that was bare entering the 2021 offseason, many expected Douglas and company to address things in a matter-of-fact way.
Unfortunately for the New York Jets and fans alike, the position was not addressed properly. The squad entered the 2021 season with a bottom-five unit on paper, and that’s how it ended when all 17 games became a thing of the past.
The full, member-only C.J. Uzomah film breakdown (1:43:00 runtime) can be found at the bottom of this article (must be a Jets X-Factor member and logged into the site).
Deploying one of the league’s worst tight-end units is bad news in itself, but it goes much further.
Not only did they draft a rookie quarterback in Zach Wilson—whose “best friend” should most likely be the tight end—but they also had a rookie offensive coordinator in Mike LaFleur, a man who runs a tight-end heavy system.
So, entering the 2022 offseason, Douglas had absolutely no excuse or reason to not address the tight end position as a whole. And, as he tends to do—by the time it’s all said and done—G.M. Joe did not disappoint.
Enter C.J. Uzomah, who, coming off of a Super Bowl appearance with the Cincinnati Bengals, seemed like a lock to re-sign with said team. Fortunately for Douglas and the Jets, Uzomah had his eyes on the Jets, inking a free-agent deal relatively quick into the free agency process.
Most Jets fans know C.J. Uzomah can catch the ball, but what else can this former Bengal get done within this offense? We broke down an hour and forty-three minutes of Uzomah film in order to get some answers.
- What does Uzomah offer the Jets?
- Was he worth the contract he signed?
- What are his weaknesses?
- How did his usage impact his stats in Cincinnati?
- What should we expect from Uzomah in New York?
All of the questions and many more are answered on this edition of Blewett’s Blitz. Plus, C.J. Uzomah’s strengths and weaknesses are listed below, as is the full, member-only film breakdown (1:43:00 runtime).
YouTube clip and podcast episode
Strengths and weaknesses
- Versatility, as he lined up as FB/H-back/ISO, ’d and at Y (in-line)
- Finds soft spots in zone
- Decent speed and acceleration for size
- No fear over the middle
- Makes tough catches
- Blocking on the second level
- Willing blocker
- YAC ability
- Pacing in routes
- Uses throw by in route running
- Balanced in pass protection
- Hand placement pass blocking
- Takes good angles in the run game
- Grip strength
- Does best to “latch” to defenders
- Awareness of other threats as a run blocker
- Aware of spacing as a run blocker
- Commits to chip blocks
- Patient run blocker
- Good combo blocker
- Good on scramble drills
- Ability to get drive foot under his frame
- Gets out of square breaks well
- Flexible for size
- Consistently works feet as run blocker
- Shows QB eyes when he is in a soft spot
- Could show more aggressiveness in the run game
- Needs more consistent punch as a run blocker
- Needs to attack the ball more often
- Can play uncontrolled on the second level
- Can use size/physicality more often crossing face as a route-runner
- Back-breaking routes (size and commitment to stop steps)
- Can get splashed as a run blocker
- Ducks head into blocks
- Can work to clear himself once into ally covered on back-breaking routes
- Can have better hand placement as a run blocker
- Hands scoop from low in the run game
- Inconsistent route runner
- Can have trouble adjusting when blocking on the second level
- Contested catching
- Easy drops show up
- Can telegraph breaks (lean or beat drum early)
- Inconsistent catch technique
- Ball tracking
- Leans out of breaks
- Could avoid contact in routes more often
- Did not see many red-zone, jump-ball or contested-catch scenarios
- Smaller steps needed in the run game when working towards a target
Member-only C.J. Uzomah film breakdown (1:43:00 runtime)
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Good article, and very informative. A quarterback is only as good as the guys up front. When they give this young man time he has to deliver! The honeymoon is over! Can’t wait! Just extend This season!
Not only should the tight end be Wilson’s “best friend” he has already shown that tendency according to the Ourlads predraft prospect profile of Wilson, which said: “The BYU passer uses his tight ends as security blankets.” (https://www.ourlads.com/nfldepthcharts/player/43319/). I’ve been taking Ourlads pretty seriously since I read their prospect profile of Sam Darnold which nailed the guy exactly when 99.9% of other so-called experts were completely fooled by him. (https://www.ourlads.com/nfldepthcharts/player/43251/).
Wow that Darnold profile really turned out to be spot-on.
I know. Incredible. If only the Jets had simply followed their advice.