NFL Draft

Eyioma Uwazurike 2022 NFL Draft Profile

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This next NFL Draft prospect is a former Cyclone that came on strong last season – it’s Enyi Uwazurike

Eyioma Uwazurike  –  6’ 6”, 316  –  Iowa St , IDL, Senior (RS)

Uwazurike had a couple of quiet seasons for the Cyclones before bursting onto the scene in 2021 to the tune of 9 sacks and 43 pressures on 345 pass rush attempts. He aligned up and down Iowa St’s defensive front and was fairly productive at most techniques.

Yes, even at 6’ 6”, 316-lbs, Eyioma (Enyi) Uwazurike was rushing the passer from a wide-9. That’s not likely going to be his role but you can comfortably position him in either a 5 or a 0-technique at the next level.

What I Like

+ Versatility

+ Anchor

+ Tackling

+ Mature Hand-usage

+ Pass-rush Production

+ Bull Rush

+ Lateral Agility

+ Explosion

Uwazurike has one of the longest wingspans (85 5/8″) of any prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. Even with his insane length and 6′ 6″ frame, he manages to stay low with a natural knee bend. He doesn’t always win the leverage battle from the interior but when blockers get underneath him, Uwazurike shows a strong post leg and holds his ground consistently in one-on-ones.

Against doubles, he’s able to manage both blockers and collapse the rush lane. At his current weight, he may not be an every-down nose but he’s more than capable of spot duties there.

When Uwazurike is near the ball, he uses good short area burst and awesome length to get his hands on the ballcarrier – and those strong mitts don’t let go. He’s missed 4 total tackles over the last 2 years.

Those hands come into play as a pass-rusher as well. Uwazurike has shown an ability to match blockers hands and discard them. That, combined with rare length makes it very difficult to get more than one punch on the big man.

He shows a ferocious bull rush and an ability to counter out of it. It’s led to serious production as a pass-rusher at the collegiate level. His 12.5% pressure rate was extremely high considering that he saw a fair amount of doubles and chips as – arguably –  Iowa St’s top pass rusher.

Uwazurike doesn’t rely on length alone to win. He shows a quick first step and can slide parallel to the lineman’s set. He can attack the pocket from a number of angles and win in a variety of ways.

But will that be enough for Uwazurike to consistently get on the field in the NFL?

 

What I Haven’t Seen Yet

– A True Home

– Linear Speed

– Pursuit Ability

– Room for More Good Weight

– Consistent Motor

Uwazurike’s versatility might be considered a negative as much as it is a positive. He never sunk into a true role with the Cyclones, likely due to a number of different factors.

He’s clearly no edge rusher at the next level – he doesn’t have the athleticism necessary for that role. He may not even be athletic enough to consistently play the 5-tech at the next level. His film shows a serious lack of linear speed, which significantly hinders his ability to pursue ball carriers in space.

Uwazurike currently lacks the beef to play nose and there isn’t much room for him to add good weight to his frame. He’d likely need to add about 15-lbs but I’m not sure how he’d carry the extra poundage.

It doesn’t help matters that Uwazurike will be 24-years-old shortly after the NFL Draft. He’s tapped-out physically and may be too late in life to undergo a change in body type.

Another thing sorely lacking from Uwazurike’s tape is a consistent drive. He’ll quit on the play when the ball passes his spot. We rarely ever see Uwazurike finish the play in-frame. That could be due to his high rep count but if that’s the case, it means he needs to get into better playing shape.

There may or may not be time for Uwazurike to develop but if he doesn’t, there’s still a clear role for him in the NFL.

Overview

If nothing changes physically for Uwazurike, he still has high-end backup potential. He’ll be a viable option at either 5-tech or nose, capable of performing at an above-average level for 300+ reps per season.

His length and versatility combined with his lack of long speed gives me Michael Brockers vibes. I doubt Uwazurike is selected as early as Brockers but he has a shot at performing just as well. Eyioma Uwazurike is a sure bet to be selected on the third day of the 2022 NFL Draft.

NFL Combine

Ht Wt Arm Hand 40 Bench Vert Broad Shtl 3Cn
6′ 6″ 316 35 1/8 10 1/8 DNP DNP 33 107 DNP DNP

RAS: Unavailable

NFL Comp: Michael Brockers

Role: Backup 5-tech/NT

Grade: Day Three Selection

 

Game On Wisconsin Interior Defensive Line Profiles

DeMarvin Leal

Devonte Wyatt

Haskell Garrett

Matthew Butler

Thomas Booker

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