Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE
Height: 6’2 ½”
Weight: 238 lbs.
Arm length: 32 ¾”
Hand size: 9 ¾”
A former three-star recruit out of Powder Springs, Georgia, where he attended Hillgrove High School, Okonkwo was the 23rd tight end, and the 57th recruit out of Georgia in the 2018 cycle. He missed the 2020 season with a bought of myocarditis but returned with a good senior season.
Okonkwo wasn’t being widely discussed until the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. He was the fastest tight end with a 40-yard-dash time of 4.52, which ranks in the 94th percentile.His 10-yard-split was 1.59, which is in the 85th percentile.
He also jumped 35.5” in the vertical; those were the only two tests performed at the Combine. Okonkwo attended the East/West Shrine Game and had a solid week in Las Vegas.
He finished his 2021 season with 51 catches on 65 targets for 448-yards and five touchdowns. He ranked second on the team in receptions, and it was the second-most receptions of a tight end in school history.
Okonkwo finished his time at Maryland with 76 catches on 109 targets for 718-yards with eight touchdowns. He operated inline over 71% of the snaps with 25% as a big slot. His timed GPS speed was 19.9 MPH.
- A great athlete with excellent acceleration and burst
- Can quickly get into DB’s leverage with excellent foot speed
- Very light on his feet, good change of direction
- Fluid in space with good bend
- Has the potential to be a good route runner, due to his athletic upside
- On the tight angled routes he ran, he throttled down and sunk his hips while exploding out of his break well
- Dangerous with football in his hands, elusive in space
- Had an impressive screen touchdown against Michigan State (Q3, 8:45) where he leaped over two defenders showing nimble feet and great body control
- A balanced player who can lower his shoulder and attempt to spin off contact
- Follows blocks in space, smart vision
- Good explosiveness to leap and attempt to locate the football
- Overall, he did a solid job adjusting to footballs (had issues that will be in weakness section)
- Showed solid blocking ability in space against Ohio State; can be adequate when tasked to block smaller defensive backs while moving in space
- Solid versatility as move tight end
- Has big play ability as a tight end
- Lacks desired size/bulk for tight end
- Play strength needs help, specifically as a blocker
- Marginal overall blocker - little to no pop
- Really struggles to frame his blocks
- Easily evaded as a blocker
- Tossed aside too often as a blocker
- Beat inside too often as backside blocker
- Pass blocking will be an issue
- Route tree was limited (mostly outs, seams, drags, hitches)
- Only had six drops in college (PFF), but his hands aren’t completely reliable
- Was inconsistent adjusting to footballs when stagnant - did a poor job of this against Penn State, 2021
- Was only adequate at adjusting to balls behind him while moving laterally
- Health issues with myocarditis from 2020 need to be addressed
- Won’t be a reliable Y tight end
Overall, Chigoziem Okonkwo is an incredibly athletic move tight end who lacks the physical and instinctual nature to be an effective blocker at the next level. Okonkwo has the upside to be a good route runner that can stretch the seam and use his athleticism to pick up extra yards after the catch.
Okonkwo can be an F/H-Back or a big slot; he’s a developmental option at tight end who can have an impact sporadically but needs to become stronger at the point of attack as a blocker if he’s going to earn more snaps in the NFL.
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