When the Cleveland Browns made a move to get back into the end of the first round of the Draft, trading with the Green Bay Packer to move from the 33rd overall pick to the 29th, questions abounded. Were the Browns targeting a quarterback? Did they want to secure one of the remaining defensive backs to shore up their secondary? Turns out the franchise had something else in mind entirely.
The Browns selected David Njoku, a 20-year-old tight from Miami, who might have some of the freakiest measurables, not only compared to his fellow position players, but to the entire 2017 draft class. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 246 pounds, Njoku won a 2014 state championship in the High Jump when he was a senior in high school, clearing the bar at 6 feet, 11 inches. And that wasn’t even Njoku’s personal best, which he says was 7 feet, 1 inch. Oh, and he weighed 220 pounds when doing all of it.
In college, Njoku was a terror at tight end, using his speed and size to rack up 698 yards and eight touchdowns for Miami in 2016. His outrageous athleticism was then put on display at the NFL Combine, where he broad jumped 11 inches (though he wanted to break the record of 12 inches), ran a 4.64 40 and posted a 6.97 seconds in the 3-Cone Drill. He then informed reporters that he was down to 6.3 percent body fat.
At Miami’s Pro Day, Njoku increased his vertical leap from 37.5 inches at the NFL Combine to an even 40 inches.
Yet none of the aforementioned feats of outrageous athleticism came close to how he performed when he visited the set of ESPN’s Sports Science.
[youtube video=”DH9LbB3FfFY” /]
Njoku started the session by posting the second-highest max vertical leap in Sports Science history, getting up 44.5 inches. He then displayed a catch radius of just under 3,600 cubic feet, a number even higher than that of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans, who seems like he can go up and nab the football if it’s anywhere remotely close to his hands.
Njoku also displayed the ability to quickly accelerate to 15 mph once he gets the ball in his hands, a major part of his athleticism that shows up instantly on film, as seen in the play above.
Njoku is one of the youngest players in the draft with raw talent that needs to be molded and developed in the NFL. But his athletic ability alone makes him one of the most tantalizing rookies of 2017.
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