While Uzoma Nwachukwu was overshadowed by Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, he still had a productive senior season, especially in terms of touchdowns. He'll hopefully bring that knack for finding the end zone to the NFL.
There is certainly room in Nwachukwu's game to become a better player, but he has the overall skill set to be worth a draft pick in the 2013 NFL draft. Let's take a look at Nwachukwu's scouting report and his NFL outlook.
Nwachukwu is very exciting to watch once the ball gets in his hands. He doesn't have elite speed, but he has the elusiveness and quickness in the open field to consistently make plays.
He's also a physical wide receiver who uses his hands well to get separation from cornerbacks down the field.
At only 6'1", there are questions to whether Nwachukwu has the size to play on the outside in an NFL offense. There are also concerns about just how consistent of hands he has. He'll often drop passes and doesn't win enough in 50-50 situations.
Nwachukwu wasn't invited to the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine, but he did run a 4.45 40-yard dash and had a 39.5" vertical at the Texas A&M pro day. He's got the athletic tools to become a contributor in the NFL.
As a four-year contributor for Texas A&M, Nwachukwu has experience playing against top-level competition. His issue with dropped passes bring up questions about his overall concentration.
However, Nwachukwu looks like a player who will contribute positively to an NFL locker room.
Nwachukwu was used both outside and inside by Texas A&M. He's a player who can get physical with cornerbacks on the outside, but is still quick enough to win in short areas.
There isn't much explosiveness to Nwachukwu off the line of scrimmage. However, he gets up to speed quickly and has good footwork to beat defenders.
Nwachukwu also does a good job using his hands to to beat press coverage and get back into his routes.
This is the area of Nwachukwu's game that needs the biggest improvement. While he does show the ability to make receptions away from his frame, it isn't on a consistent basis.
Nwachukwu isn't a receiver who is going to win a lot of jump balls, either. He struggles to time jumps properly and isn't physical enough or always have the desire to win against cornerbacks.
He isn't the most polished route-runner, but displays the qualities necessary for an NFL receiver. Nwachukwu has a good understanding of routes and solid footwork to go with it.
One are where Nwachukwu could really improve is finding open space when defenses play zone coverage.
Nwachukwu's hands are simply too inconsistent for him to be considered an elite receiver prospect. He drops too many passes due to lack of concentration, especially when going over the middle of the field.
He'll also try to run before catching the ball, which results in a number of dropped passes, too.
Run After Catch
This is where Nwachukwu is such an intriguing prospect. He's got great abilities as a playmaker due to his elusiveness and short-area quickness.
He is extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands. Nwachukwu also consistently fights to pick up extra yards after the catch.
Nwachukwu is one of the better blocking receivers in this year's draft. He's extremely willing to block and constantly keeps his opponents from making a play on the ball-carrier.
There will be some questions, however, if he'll be able to do that against bigger and stronger cornerbacks in the NFL.
Future Role/Scheme Versatility
It's likely that Nwachukwu won't get drafted until the later rounds of the draft. In fact, due to his playmaking ability in the open field, he might project better as a return man early in his career rather than a wide receiver.
With that said, he's got the overall tools to become a contributor at wide receiver for an offense.
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