DE Arnold Ebiketie, Penn St.

6’3” – 256 lbs.

Background:

Born in Cameroon. Originally attended Temple, where he played up until this past season. Made four tackles as a 225-pound freshman, then added ten pounds and went 13-2.0-2.0 as a rotational player the following year. Weighing 240, posted 42-8.5-4.0 in his final season at Temple, running back a fumble return for a touchdown, then broke out with Penn St. this past season at 256 pounds, finishing with a 62-18.0-9.5 line to close out his career, blocking two kicks as well.

Positives:

Has added a lot of bulk over the past few years and now offers a solid combination of size/length. Played out of both two- and three-point stances regularly. Smooth and explosive athlete with an impressive motor. Shows the ability to set up opposing tackles when going to his inside move, with good lateral quickness to shuffle into gaps and generate pressure. Nice hand usage and a high level of activity, typically going with swim or swipe moves. Has the ability to convert speed to power, with impressive leg drive and functional strength. Bends well around the edge, with a long wingspan to go for the strip when he’s coming in from the blindside. Consequently, drew extra attention from opposing offenses during the games reviewed. Lower-body strength is good enough to anchor at the line of scrimmage in the run game. Gets good extension with his arms to lock out blockers. Shows the ability to scrape and flow in the play direction in the run game. Has additional value on special teams.

Negatives:

Production prior to this past season was modest. Reactions to the snap are inconsistent; sometimes the last defensive lineman out of their stance. Struggles to protect his legs, being very susceptible to cut blocks. Pad level sometimes rises, negating some of his power. Has the type of bend teams look for but relies much more on his inside moves and bull rush to generate pressure. Gap discipline on the edge can be inconsistent; can get too deep, creating rushing lanes for opposing ballcarriers. Didn’t see him dropping into coverage during the games reviewed.

Summary:

A very talented edge rusher with an impressive combination of explosiveness, power, tenacity, hand usage, and bend, also offering the type of strength and extension to set the edge as a two-gap defender in the run game. Still has some minor things to work on and could stand to add more of an outside speed rush to his game, but has a lot of the tools teams look for at one of the most coveted positions in the modern game.

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