Arnold Ebiketie NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Penn State EDGE
HEIGHT: 6'2 3/8"
HAND: 10 1/4"
ARM: 34 1/8"
WINGSPAN: 6'9 3/4"
40-YARD DASH: DNP
— Top-notch flexibility around the edge, perhaps the best in the class. Can consistently get the edge against offensive tackles and turn back to the quarterback without being pushed too far behind the pocket. Also has rare ability to turn back up into the pocket and accelerate if the quarterback slides up.
— Hand usage and pass-rushing variety is a plus. Has an effective dip-and-rip as well a decent long arm to help unlock his flexibility around the edge. Flashes the ability to work down the middle of an offensive tackle and knife back inside, thanks to his quickness and understanding of how to make his frame "skinnier" when working past offensive tackles.
— Light on his feet for a player over 250 pounds. Shows the ability to feint a move inside to keep offensive tackles short in their set before working back outside.
— Flashes the build-up power to bull-rush through offensive tackles. Doesn't have the heaviest hands or the ability to summon his strength from any position, but when he fires off the ball and gets a few steps to build up speed, he can pop an offensive tackle in the chest and work them back into the quarterback. Will never be his signature move, but he has it in his arsenal.
— Has the speed and quickness to fly right through the gap as a run defender on occasion. Also a good chase-down defender from the back side of run plays.
— First step is nothing special. Isn't slow off the ball, but he does not come flying off the ball the way many elite pass-rushers do.
— Strength as a pass-rusher runs hot and cold. If snatched up by the offensive tackle early in the rep, does not always have the strength to shed them off and work back to the quarterback. Needs to win reps before offensive tackles get the jump on him (which he usually does).
— Same strength issues show up against the run. Offensive tackles can turn him out of gaps. Also does not always show the power to fit up the run against pulling players, even if willing to do so. Strength issues against the run do not make him unplayable, but he likely will not be a plus-value run defender in the NFL, at least not early on.
— Could improve his technique as a run defender. Would like to see more reps where he stays square on the line of scrimmage, gets two hands into an offensive tackle’s frame and raises them above his eyes to take control of the block. Perhaps improved technique in this regard would make up for his middling anchor.
12 G, 62 TOT, 18 TFL, 9.5 SK, 2 FF
— Transferred from Temple to Penn State for his final season.
Arnold Ebiketie spent the first three seasons of his career at Temple. Though he was an effective player, he accrued only six sacks over those three seasons (two as a sophomore and four as a junior).
Ebiketie chose to make a bold transfer up to Penn State in 2021, and it’s done wonders for his draft status.
Ebiketie is a dangerous pass-rusher off the edge. His first step will not amaze anyone, but everything afterward is a marvel.
Ebiketie’s flexibility around the edge and ability to make himself a tough target for offensive linemen to hit is up there with anyone else in this class. Moreover, his ability to turn the corner all the way back up to the quarterback and finish on pass-rushing reps is exactly what scouts should want in a speed-rusher type. Ebiketie also has the precise hand usage to use a variety of pass-rush moves and consistently change up his approach to keep offensive tackles guessing.
If anything, Ebiketie’s issue is that his strength can be dependent on gaining momentum, leaving him a bit more vulnerable against the run. He does not get bounced off the line of scrimmage every rep, but there will be times where creases around him get opened up wider than they should. Ebiketie does have the speed and hustle to be a good backside-chase player, though, so he does still have some function against the run.
Ebiketie should at least be an effective designated pass-rusher off the bench early in his career before ascending to a legitimate starting role. Continued improvement in the strength department would help raise the floor for Ebiketie’s game, but the pass-rushing traits are all there for a potential 10-sack player in the NFL.
GRADE: 8.1 (Year 1 Starter - Late 1st-2nd Round)
OVERALL RANK: 26
POSITION RANK: EDGE4
PRO COMPARISON: Harold Landry III