|Team:||New Orleans Saints|
|Ht / Wt:||6'6" / 247 lb.|
|Born:||September 20, 1988|
|Drafted:||2012 / Rd. 2 (34)|
Cody Fleener is currently a tight end with the New Orleans Saints who very possibly could have ended up a computer programmer instead of the best tight end in the nation. While attending Joliet Catholic High School, he was a tight end in a "run heavy" football program who saw little time compared to the running backs.
In spite of this lack of use, during his senior year he had 10 receptions for 214 yards and five touchdowns. This was after nearly quitting in his junior year due to frustration with his lack of use. That said, he stuck around long enough and made a big enough impression to attract the attention of Stanford.
Recruited by Stanford in 2008, Fleener had a busy and consistent college career that improved each year. He made an impression right away in his freshman year by catching 13 passes for 176 yards, averaging 13.5 yards per catch as a wide receiver with future NFL teammate quarterback Andrew Luck.
In 2009, he improved to 21 catches with 266 yards for an average of 12.7 yards per catch. During this season, he moved to the tight end position he would stay at for the rest of his career. He also scored his first touchdown.
His 2010 junior year saw even more improvement. In 13 games, he had 28 catches for 434 yards to average 15.5 yards while scoring seven touchdowns. His senior year was, by far, his most impressive as he had 34 receptions for 667 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 19.6 yards per catch. Career totals included 96 catches for 1,543 yards with an average of 16.1 yards per catch.
Entering the draft in 2011, he was invited to the combine, but could not participate in most of the events due to an ankle injury. He was still able to do 27 225-pound bench reps. He recovered enough to participate in pro day, coming in as a 6'6" and 247-pound tight end. His 40 time was 4.51, his 20 time 2.65, his 10 time 1.56, his vertical jump 37-inches, with an impressive 4.30 time in the 20 shuffle, and 7.02 in the three-cone drill.
Combined with his Stanford stats, his combine results projected him as the very best tight end in the draft and 31 out of 1,965 total draftable players. He was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts with the second pick of the second round at 34 overall as the first tight end drafted that year.
When he signed his four-year contract with the Colts, he was given a $5,431,000,000 salary. As of 2016, he signed with New Orleans Saints with a five-year contract for $36,000,000. You can view his college highlights here.
Fleener has more than lived up to expectations during his NFL career. In his rookie season, he played 12 games for the Colts, starting in 10. He had 26 catches for 281 yards with an average of 10.8 yards and two touchdowns. His highlight was a 26-yard touchdown bomb. In 2013, he played in all 16 games and had 52 receptions for 608 yards, an average of 11.7 yards per catch, and four touchdowns.
By far, his most productive year has been 2014 in which he had 51 catches for 774 yards to average a career-high 15.2 yards. An incredible 73-yard touchdown reception was the highlight of his eight touchdowns that year. 2015 saw him limited to 11 games for the Colts, though he still had a career-high 54 receptions. While he only had 491 yards on the season, he still scored three touchdowns, including a 57-yarder.
His debut season with the Saints in 2016 was his best since 2014. In just eight games, he caught 50 passes for 631 yards and three touchdowns, the highlight being a 50-yard catch. It was also the first year he rushed, an attempt that muscled in a two-yard touchdown. You can view his NFL highlights here.
Born in Lemont, Illinois in 1988, this 28-year old is known as something of a "nerd." Had his football career not panned out, he was looking forward to a career in computer programming and coding. He even received a bachelor's degree in the field. His active Twitter account is a fun read, as he often posts funny or quirky photos, such as his recent donation of his once lengthy locks to charity.