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2022 NFL draft scouting report: Penn State EDGE Arnold Ebiketie

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Penn State EDGE Arnold Ebiketie

6-foot-2
250 pounds

Yahoo Sports' 2022 NFL draft grade

5.96 — possible first-rounder; possible immediate starter

TL;DR scouting report

Twitchy, ascending pass-rush talent with some size and run-game deficiencies, but he's always bet on himself and won

The skinny

A 2-star Rivals recruit in the Class of 2017, Ebiketie committed originally to Temple, redshirting in 2017 (one game played) and appearing in six games in 2018, making four tackles. In 2019, he appeared in 12 games at rush end, making 12 tackles (two for losses) with two sacks. Ebiketie broke out in 2020 for the Owls, with 42 tackles (8.5 for losses), four sacks, three forced fumbles and one recovery.

Ebiketie transferred to Penn State in 2021, starting every game at right outside linebacker and raising his game up another notch. He made 62 tackles (18 for losses), 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one pass breakup and two blocked kicks. Ebiketie appeared at the Senior Bowl.

Penn State's Arnold Ebiketie has risen to become a potential top-50 pick in the NFL draft. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Penn State's Arnold Ebiketie has risen to become a potential top-50 pick in the NFL draft. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Upside

  • Highly twitchy and athletic — excellent testing numbers in every NFL combine drill

  • Long arms (34 1/8 inches) and big hands (10 1/4) compensate for lack of height

  • Hand strength to brawl with tackles and keep their hands off him

  • Gets low and generates good explosion off the snap

  • Pass-rush repertoire expanded in a big way — wins with power, speed, misdirection

  • Incremental improvement in his awareness and savvy past few years

  • Keeps blockers guessing with his approach

  • Speed rush seemed to shock tackles last season

  • Pretty decent ability to bend and turn the corner

  • Will cross blockers' faces on subtle inside counter

  • Quality long-arm rush, a la Khalil Mack

  • Stays with plays — keeps battling to shake loose of blocks

  • Quality bull rush can put blockers on skates when arms locked out

  • Efforts to flush out run plays laterally

  • Works outside shoulder to set good edges vs. the run

  • Forced five fumbles past two seasons

  • Established special-teams value in 2021 — two blocked field goals

Downside

  • Undersized at a shade above 6-2 and 250 pounds

  • Likely maxed out — already packed on 50 pounds since start of college

  • Frame might not hold up for full-time trench duty

  • A bit stiff working down the line at times

  • Power rushes can be stalled early if he doesn't win leverage battle

  • Will stayed glued on his blocks vs. better physical specimens

  • Can play on his feet and in space, but not what he does best

  • Limited coverage responsibilities on display

  • Late bloomer — started playing football in high school, two-year backup at Temple

Best-suited destination

Ebiketie projects as a pass-rush specialist early in his career, with the potential to develop into a full-time starter. His game remains a bit unpolished, but he's made major strides the past three years and has the athletic profile to continue adding tricks to his bag. Ebiketie likely can fit in any type of front, but we endorse the idea of deploying him as a stand-up rusher for an odd-front defense.

Did you know

Born in Cameroon, Ebiketie immigrated with his family to the United States when he was age 13, setting in Maryland. After growing up playing soccer and giving basketball a try when he first arrived, he started playing football as a sophomore in high school.

Player comp

Josh Uche

Expected draft range

Top-50 pick