CJ is a technically sound player who has very good size and strength to play multiple positions along the front in any style of defense. He is the type of player who should be an excellent DE in a 3-4 defense and will do a solid job as a DE in a 4-3 defense. He is smart and understands the purpose of the defensive scheme he's executing. CJ played with some very good defensive linemen who have had very good coaching. CJ uses his hands well and, although his lateral agility is not what you would like to see in a pure defensive tackle, his burst, intelligence and the ability to leverage the play of his teammates makes up for that weakness. CJ reminds me a lot of Justin Tuck (DL Giants). He has that same type of tenacious playing style that needs to find a position that best uses his natural strength and quickness.
NEEDS TO IMPROVE
As I said, his lateral agility is lacking and I think he needs to slim down to about 260-270 lbs. He is carrying too much weight right now and looking more like he is a tweener DT/DE. He most likely fits and will impact as a DE in a 3-4, 1-gap defensive line scheme, but because he is so smart, he can play in a 2-gap system. CJ looked to me like he gained weight during the season. That's hard to do unless you have a poor work ethic. I just don't see a poor work ethic in this kid's play on the field, so I am perplexed about this and do have questions that need to be answered.
CJ is the type of kid not many people notice because of the talent around him. He is my definition of a sleeper. He has been a good teammate and done what was asked of him and has done it well. However, he has been playing out of position and with too much weight to impact. If he doesn't have a weight problem, I think this kid is going to be a hell of a player. He did seem (on film) to gain weight during the season, which concerns me. Early in the season he looked like he was playing at about 270 lbs and had that quickness and burst off the line. Later on, it seemed like he was way too heavy and played slower. The defensive line coaching on this team is excellent, so my thinking is the coaches wanted CJ to put on more weight thinking that they might move him inside more often. It would give the defense more flexibility on third downs as well as give the coaches an opportunity to rotate linemen more often. CJ, in spite of his weight, put up some big time numbers at the combine and, in doing that, showed me his true natural talent hasn't been completely tapped yet. I'm sure he will start off as a rotation player but before long I think this kid could be something special.
Drew Boylhart 3/10