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Ric Serritella and Dane Vandernat discuss roster construction in the offseason

Ric Serritella and Dane Vandernat discuss roster construction in the offseason

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NFL Draft Profile: Eyioma Uwazurike, Defensive Lineman, Iowa State Cyclones

NFL draft profile scouting report for Iowa State defensive lineman, Eyioma Uwazurike

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#58
Pos: DL
Ht: 6060
Wt: 320
DOB: 5/6/98
Eligible: 2022
Detroit, MI
Southfield-Lathrup High School

Eyioma Uwazurike
Iowa State Cyclones


Pros:

Pun: Eyioma Uwzurike has a stout and thick frame which leads to a natural leverage advantage and he brings physicality to the trenches. Versus the run, Uwzurike is best versus gap scheme base blocks, where he regularly plays with low pad level and when he strikes his hands before his blocker does, he can stack blocks to control the point of attack with force. Occasionally, Uwzurike shows flashes of a swim move to disengage from blockers and create penetration behind the line of scrimmage. In addition, it’s a pleasure to watch a guy with his size have a good motor as Uwzurike will regularly chase down plays to the sideline or past the sticks, showing competitiveness. Versus the pass, Uwzurike has found a niche as an interior rusher who can collapse the pocket with his natural power. He demonstrates immense play strength by getting low, achieving inside hand placement and driving his legs to create displacement.

Cons:

Pun: Uwzurike has a tweener build and Iowa State often featured him as a defensive end in their 3-3-5 defense, which was not his best position. He lacks many athletic qualities to succeed on the edge - get-off and bend being the most important and also has poor technique when rushing the passer. Uwzurike has no refined moves apart from his bull rush and struggles with his execution of non-bull rushes due to poor precision and timing. Uwzurike’s best position is as a nose tackle or shade, unfortunately he lacks great core strength to hold up versus double teams. This is especially apparent versus zone blocks where Uwzurike’s average get-off and below-average core strength leads to him easily getting turned to the side by combo blocks and allowing for horizontal displacement. Finally, Uwzurike struggles to finish plays as he lacks the refined hand usage to consistently disengage from blocks, plus his below-average play speed means he’s rarely in close enough position to make a tackle due to below-average foot speed, change of direction and mental processing.

Summary:

Pun: Uwurike offers good run defense due to his pad level and hand placement and his ability to collapse the pocket is a great complimentary skill. Iowa State moved him to nose tackle in 2021, from EDGE in his previous seasons, which has contributed to a career-high in sacks. In the NFL, he should continue as a nose tackle/shade and can play some 3-4 defensive end in a gap control system. Uwzurike can be a decent backup early in his career and become a very good backup or spot starter with improved core strength and hand usage.

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Background:

Uwzurike attended Southfield-Lathrup high school in Michigan where he was a two-time team defensive MVP and posted 50 tackles, 12 TFL with six sacks as a senior. After high school, 247Sports ranked him as a 3-Star recruit, the 820th-best recruit nationally, the 37th-ranked strong-side defensive end recruit in the country and the 22nd recruit in the state of Michigan. Uwzurike committed to Iowa State over Michigan State, UCF and Temple and he redshirted his freshman year in 2016. In 2017, he played in all 13 games as a key reserve and tallied 16 tackles, 4.0 TFL and 0.5 sack. In 2018, Uwzurike started eight of nine games played and totaled 27 tackles, 5.0 TFL and one sack. Unfortunately, he dealt with a groin injury which knocked him out for four games. In 2019, started all 13 games, was honorable mention All-Big 12 and had 32 tackles, 5.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks. In 2020, he started all 12 games and was again an honorable mention All-Big 12, while tallying 27 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks and three QB hurries. 2021 has been a breakout year for Uwzurike who through eight games has already tied some stats from last year with 28 tackles, 8.0 TFL. He’s improved his pass rush production with 5.0 sacks already. Uwzurike boasts plenty of experience in his six-year tenure and Iowa State head Matt Campbell is quite complementary of Uwzurike’s impact on the program, “It gives us some leadership in the room, that's number one. He's coming out on fire. He's really focused, his competing in practice is very high.” Campbell is also quick to praise Uwzurike’s work ethic and leadership, “I think when those game weeks come in the fall, that guy being over there and studying film during the day and bringing young guys with him is going to pay off. He's going to go the extra mile in his as preparation and those things and preparing for a team, I think that's going to be valuable.”


One-Liners

Pun: Stout frame, good run defender versus gap schemes and good ability to collapse the pocket with bull rush but struggles to stay square versus combo blocks and lacks nuance with his hands.

Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

Pun: 7.2 / 7.8


#58
Pos: DL
Ht: 6060
Wt: 320
DOB: 5/6/98
Eligible: 2022
Detroit, MI
Southfield-Lathrup High School

Eyioma Uwazurike
Iowa State Cyclones


Pros:

Pun: Eyioma Uwzurike has a stout and thick frame which leads to a natural leverage advantage and he brings physicality to the trenches. Versus the run, Uwzurike is best versus gap scheme base blocks, where he regularly plays with low pad level and when he strikes his hands before his blocker does, he can stack blocks to control the point of attack with force. Occasionally, Uwzurike shows flashes of a swim move to disengage from blockers and create penetration behind the line of scrimmage. In addition, it’s a pleasure to watch a guy with his size have a good motor as Uwzurike will regularly chase down plays to the sideline or past the sticks, showing competitiveness. Versus the pass, Uwzurike has found a niche as an interior rusher who can collapse the pocket with his natural power. He demonstrates immense play strength by getting low, achieving inside hand placement and driving his legs to create displacement.

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