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Joshua Ezeudu NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for New York Giants' IOL

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IApril 30, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 11: North Carolina Tar Heels offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu (75) blocks during a college football game against the Pittsburgh Panthers on Nov. 11, 2021 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'4 1/4"

WEIGHT: 308

HAND: 9 1/2"

ARM: 34"

WINGSPAN: 6'10 1/4"

40-YARD DASH: 5.19

3-CONE: 7.83

SHUTTLE: 4.56

VERTICAL: 28.5"

BROAD: 8'9"

POSITIVES

— Above-average movement skills with impressive explosiveness out of his stance and lateral quickness to gain positional leverage on defenders.

— Very good length that he uses to establish first meaningful contact and keep defenders at his fingertips.

— Does a nice job staying inside-out and square in his pass set to force rushers outside.

— Varies his strikes and utilizes independent hands in pass protection to disrupt the rush plan of his opponent.

— Good stopping power and grip strength; delivers jolt and ties up defenders once locked in.

— Physical and competitive playing style; runs his feet and fights to stay attached to blocks through the whistle.

NEGATIVES

— Shows too much rigidity late in the rep on angle-drive blocks, delaying his ability to drop his pads and releverage, causing him to get slipped and fall off too often.

— Hand carriage tends to drop and get too low, forcing him to be wide and late on contact, giving easy access to his frame.

— Needs to learn to reset and refit his hands more quickly after defenders gain access to his frame to prevent getting walked back in his anchor.

— Shows adequate range when on an island at tackle against wide rush angles, base tends to narrow and hips open early to create two-way gos.

2021 STATISTICS

- 11 starts; 10 at left guard, one at left tackle.

NOTES

— Former 3-star offensive line prospect out of Archer High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia, with scholarship offers from Yale, Cornell and Dartmouth.

— 28 career starts.

OVERALL

Ezeudu is a two-and-a-half year starter inside UNC's multiple run scheme with 11 starts in 2021. He primarily played left guard but had one start at left tackle and switched between the two positions in the majority of games that I studied from this past season.

Ezeudu wins with good initial explosiveness out of his stance and lateral quickness that allows him to get to his spots quickly in pass protection while remaining square with inside-out positioning on rushers. He shows impressive refinement in his pass sets, mixing up flat, angled and vertical sets with independent hand usage and very good length to establish first meaningful contact.

Ezeudu excels as a zone run-blocker with the initial quickness to cut off defenders shaded to either shoulder and to climb and intersect smaller targets in space off of combo blocks. When he can get attached to blocks early in the rep, he does a nice job locking in with good grip strength and body positioning to keep defenders walled off. He has enough square power and pop in his hands to block down, displace and create a crease off of his backside. He can also pry open and torque the frontside end. Ezeudu shows good competitive toughness to fight and strain through contact, run his feet and finish through the whistle.

Ezeudu shows adequate range on an island at tackle against wider rush angles with his hips, opening the door early when rushers attack the corner. His feet get jittery and his base narrows against rushers who set him up with stutters, while his hand carriage tends to drop throughout games, leaving him susceptible to being late and wide with his hand placement. Once defenders get inside his frame in the run game, he is slow to reset and refit underneath blocks, quickly losing control.

Overall, Ezeudu has the athletic ability, length, hand-fighting skills and competitive toughness to carve out a role as a guard in the NFL, as well as the ability to kick outside to tackle in a pinch. If he can learn to play with better leverage and sustain blocks more consistently in the run game, he has the physical traits and demeanor to become a starter within his first contract.

GRADE: 6.7 (Potential role player - Mid to late 4th round)

OVERALL RANK: 132

POSITION RANK: IOL16

PRO COMPARISON: Saahdiq Charles

Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn