2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Arnold Ebiketie

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Arnold Ebiketie

by February 18, 2022 6 comments

Arnold Ebiketie burst onto the scene in 2021 after transferring to Penn State following three seasons at Temple. The former three-star recruit had a fairly easy transition from the American Athletic Conference to the Big Ten Conference. As a redshirt senior, Ebiketie earned All-Big Ten honors after finishing the season with 52 pressures – 16th in the FBS – 62 total tackles, 9.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. His tremendous season earned him an invite to the Senior Bowl, where he had a consistent week of practices. He will have another chance to help his stock at the scouting combine next month.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio 

Name: Arnold Ebiketie

Jersey: No. 17

Position: EDGE

School: Penn State

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height: 6’2” 

Weight: 250 lbs 

Games Watched: Auburn (2021), Ohio State (2021), Michigan (2021)

Major Injury History: None

Player Breakdown 

Pass Rush Ability (12.75/15)

With his length – 34-inch wingspan – Ebiketie has solid singular pass-rushing moves to keep offensive lineman at bay. Teams will have to double team him most of the time to keep him out of the play. However, there are times he disappears if the initial move doesn’t work. Offensive linemen can get some leverage on him and keep him neutralized. On plays that he is involved in, he is disruptive and will hit the quarterback hard which could lead to a fumble or erratic throws. He needs to work on his technique as he doesn’t always use his hands consistently or consistently have leverage. But when he uses his hands correctly, he can keep the lineman off his chest and move more freely.

Explosiveness (9.75/10)

This is Ebiketie’s best trait, as he has elite speed off the edge. He can blow by tackles around the corner with solid twitchiness. The Maryland native also has outstanding closing speed and most of the time will win with finesse over strength. But that does not take away from his ability to win with strength. He is just that explosiveness and quick, which makes opposing offensives frightful. He can win as both a speed and power rusher. 

First Step (7/10)

Ebiketie doesn’t always get off the ball very quickly which can take some leverage away. He can get that leverage back rather quickly but needs to learn to time up the snap better. If he can improve his first step ability, that will only make him even more dangerous of a pass rusher. Everything after the first step is elite, as he has a good enough get-off to grab the leverage back.

Bend (8.25/10)

With his flexibility and quickness, Ebiketie gets around the edge with an impressive bend. There are rarely ever times where he is forced upright and appears stiff. He is consistently playing low to the ground with his hand in the dirt. The acceleration is off the charts as he works to make a play on the ball carrier.

Hand Usage (8.75/10)

As mentioned, Ebiketie actively uses his hands with his lengthly frame. He uses them to get leverage and bull rush. He has heavy hands and violent attacks, which leads to double teams. The hand usage is usually consistent, although could get fairly stagnant if his leverage is lost. Overall, he is active with his hands and can tear off a block.

Motor (9/10)

Ebiketie has a non-stop motor as he always smells blood to make a play on the ball. There are not many times he is not actively hunting the ball carrier and causing disruptiveness. Even if he gets pushed off the ball, he will keep active and try to make his way back for a chase-down tackle.

Tackling (8/10)

Ebiketie is a great wrap-up tackler which is a benefit of his length. Some guys may possess a similar motor that he does, but can’t finish the play with a tackle. That isn’t the case with Ebiketie, as he gets to the ball carrier and makes sure he gets them down. He also gets a lot of guys down in the backfield, seen in his sacks and TFL. That doesn’t happen unless you have a good wrap-up ability and don’t allow the ball carrier to get away.

Strength at the LOS (7/10)

His length and strong upper body cause problems for tackles and tight ends, as he holds a solid anchor. Ebiketie uses his hands to keep active leverage and not use his chest to push off. The hand movement is not always consistent and he can lose leverage off the line at times. That will only get better as he works on technique more.

Run Defense (8.5/10)

He was a machine at getting to the backfield last year, as he had 18 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks, a huge jump from his numbers at Temple. Ebiketie uses his tremendous speed and explosiveness to get to the ball carrier, while his motor helps him track down the ball.

Versatility (4/5)

Ebiketie has a great all-around ability and can play from one-point or two-point stances. He can play standing up as well and can rush from a number of alignments at a high level. Despite projecting as more of a 3-4 outside linebacker, he also projects well as a 4-3 defensive end. The abilities are all there for him to move around a bit for whatever a team may need.

Player Summary 

Ebiketie saw his stock rise this season after transferring. On top of the impressive statistics, his play style and abilities back them up. The redshirt senior put up career highs in sacks, TFL, and tackles. He has a lot of upside to develop that comes from his combination of speed, explosiveness, motor, and play strength. While he left the game against Iowa due to an injury (he wasn’t faking), he played through it and hasn’t had any major injuries. He projects as a three-down 3-4 outside linebacker after a year or two of development. Ebiketie will work his way into the rotation in year one and has All-Pro potential.

Rookie Projections: Rotational 3-4 Outside Linebacker

Third Year Projections: Starting 3-4 Outside Linebacker

Final Grade (83/100): Mid Second-Round Pick

Player Comp: Azeez Ojulari

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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