Patience rewarded as Njoku gets to grips with NFL life

The NFL Draft is understandably dominated by early picks, with those selected inside the top 10 considered to boast match-altering ability that will serve their new employers in the big leagues well.

Value can, however, be found in the latter stages of that selection process, with hidden gems often unearthed in the unlikeliest of places. Just because headlines were not made off the bat by those selected early in a recruitment circus does not mean that positive ones will not be written further down the line.


Tom Brady was famously acquired by the New England Patriots in the sixth round, with the 199th overall pick of the 2000 Draft, and he turned out to be okay. The evergreen quarterback is still going strong with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as retirement plans continue to be shelved on an annual basis.

He is hoping to come into contention for more Super Bowl rings, with seven not enough, with a battle to claim the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2022-23 very much on. The Bucs are struggling to position themselves in that mix, but several serious contenders for ultimate glory are emerging.

The Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles are all expected to go well, while the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers have been offering enough to suggest that they are capable of being there or thereabouts.

Last season’s beaten finalists, the Cincinnati Bengals, are also working their way back into the fray and will be a dangerous proposition with momentum building behind them. A loyal fan base is daring to dream once more and Bally Bet is delivering a sportsbook that features bonuses and promo codes a-plenty for supporters in Ohio – you can go to their website to discover all of the details as the race to reach Arizona continues to build.

The other team in that particular part of the world, the Cleveland Browns, have found the going a little tougher as consistency once again proves difficult to establish, but they have enough talent at their disposal to suggest that regular playoff runs will be enjoyed once all of the pieces in an elaborate puzzle are put to together.

One of those to be displaying plenty of encouraging signs at present is David Njoku, with a tight end of Nigerian heritage finally delivering on the potential that saw him acquired with the 29th pick of the 2017 Draft.

Big money was invested in him at that point, with little return seen early on, but the current campaign is promising to be a breakthrough one for a man that recorded 41 receptions, 464 receiving yards, two touchdowns and 25 first downs through his opening nine appearances.


Ahead of one outing against the New England Patriots in October, Bill Belichick – who is hardly renowned for handing out compliments like confetti – said of Njoku: “After Ozzie [Newsome], probably the best tight end the Browns have ever had.”

That is some billing and one that an ambitious performer is eager to live up to has responded by saying: “I have intentions on being better than Ozzie, all of the respect to Ozzie, and that’s it.” There is some way to go before that target can claim to have been hit, but positive steps are finally being taken in the right direction as patience in Cleveland is rewarded.

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