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What Erik Ezukanma brings to the Miami Dolphins
What Erik Ezukanma brings to the Miami Dolphins
Jun 18, 2024 12:34 PM

With the 125th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Texas Tech WR Erik Ezukanma.

The Miami Dolphins 2022 NFL Draft series continues with fourth round pick Erik Ezukanma

Round 3: Pick 102

Pre-draft

Initially in the draft process the Miami Dolphins were interested in Texas Tech WR Erik Ezukanma. During the NFL Combine, the Miami Dolphins had a formal interview with Ezukanma.

“Throughout the process, Miami did show a lot of interest and I had a formal (interview) with them at the NFL Combine. That’s where I got this hat. They just showed love throughout the process and for them to pick a spot with me, it was big.”

Erik Ezukanma on his pre-draft process with the Miami Dolphins

On Mike McDaniel’s evaluation of Erik Ezukanma, both he and Chris Grier liked him enough to draft him.

“It was exciting to watch him play and I think he fits the energy and the skill level that we’re looking for. We want guys to be fast and play fast and doing both with a decisiveness and a team-first passion that he bleeds. We’re excited to add him. That was the biggest thing, I saw a football player playing the receiver position.”

Mike McDaniel on Erik Ezukanma

Scouting Report

Strengths

At 6-foot-2 and 209 pounds, Erik Ezukanma’s best ability in his toolkit is his contested catch ability. He’s goes above defenders and makes catches with defensive backs draped all over him.

New #Dolphins WR Erik Ezukanma Scouting report:

-Size, length and strength to beat press jams

-Versatile as can line up in any WR spot and as a RB

-Strong hands, good contested catch ability

-Attacks the middle of the field with frame

-Willing blocker

-YAC guy

— Hussam Patel 7th round selection (@HussamPatel) April 30, 2022

The red raider product has the size, length, and strength to defeat press jams. Can make spectacular catches in the open field and when covered by defenders.

My favorite asset of Ezukanma and how Texas Tech preferred to use him. Ezukanma is built for breaking tackles after the catch. He looks like a power back when breaking away from tackles with his frame.

Erik Ezukanma is going to be fun for Mike McDaniel to play with

Reiterating he had 200 yards after the first contact, 377 YAC overall

Played all WR positions, RB and Wildcat QB pic.twitter.com/VHR68Z31QZ

— Hussam Patel 7th round selection (@HussamPatel) April 30, 2022

Another facet of his game is his versatility. At Texas Tech, Erik Ezukanma lined up mostly out wide; however, he was used plenty in motion, on screen plays, and swing passes as well as the occasional jet sweep.

“I’m a versatile guy. I feel like I can fit in right where Jaylen Waddle – the way he can take the ball out of the backfield as well as be a deep threat down the field, but also just a versatile guy with RAC ability and YAC ability – yards after contact and run after the catch. You can put me anywhere on the field and I feel like I can help the team in any situation.”

Erik Ezukanma describes his play style

Funner Fact: Ezukanma had an 89% on target catch percentage. Good for 29th in this draft class

Expect that to go up with Tua, who's one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NFL

— Hussam Patel 7th round selection (@HussamPatel) April 30, 2022

Ezukanma’s hands are strong and among several NFL talents. However, with a revolving door of quarterbacks at Texas Tech Ezukanma had some drops that showed he was adjusting the other quarterbacks

Weaknesses

As mentioned above, a revolving door at quarterback and a coaching change was not ideal for Erik Ezukanma.

His production during the beginning of the season was red hot with 13 catches and 322 yards in his first two games.

Erik Ezukanma Is an intersting WR. still working through the tape. My only concern right now is lack of separation. Could just be the games I watched. Plan to keep Digging. Nice top End Speed. Would like to see more use but doesn't seem to be Texas Tech play style. pic.twitter.com/jfwmHoWLcl

— J.R. Clark #P4PATL (@grimm1128) February 26, 2022

The Texas Tech alum needs to improve his release package at the next level. He doesn’t gain enough separation on most of his routes, with the exception of the drag route over the middle.

Erik Ezukanma does not have enough route running ability which is needed for the NFL. Furthermore, while Texas Tech runs a spread concept, Ezukanma was used on scripted routes to maximize his usage and gain production.

erik ezukanma vs. oklahoma | 8 catches, 123 yards, 1 TD #finsup pic.twitter.com/WWOfxseBe0

— josh houtz (@houtz) May 1, 2022

There some inconsistencies at the top of his routes and when making adjustments in traffic, more so relying on his frame and contested catch ability to make plays on the ball.

Projection

The way in which Erik Ezukanma or “EZ” can simply pluck the football out of the air is ridiculous. There should not be any issues with his hands throughout his career and based on what he has shown on tape.

pic.twitter.com/p77O2mPrGp

— josh houtz (@houtz) April 30, 2022

I expect Mike McDaniel to put Ezukanma in any position and let him work. His playstyle is very similar to Houston Texans wide receiver Nico Collins, who was also able to snag nearly every deep ball.

“That’s one of my strong suits. I feel like throughout my career I’ve really worked on contested catches, bang-bang plays. I feel like in the beginning of my career at Tech, that was one of the places I struggled at, but I gained more confidence with that and just getting bigger in the weight room, buying into the weight room and being able to make those contested catches even if a defender is on my back or hitting me at the same time. So I feel like that’s one of my high points of my game.”

Erik Ezukanma on his contested catch ability

Often, wide receivers are asked to block in Mike McDaniel’s offense. Ezukanma is more than willing as a blocker and should see an increase in snaps as the season progresses on run plays. Ezukanma has the size and strength to be an asset as a run blocker out on the edge.

In Miami, he will be best served as a possession receiver that can work the middle of the field, a red zone target and a mismatch against defenders on motions, screens, and jet sweeps.

The modern day of NFL wide receivers is changing where wide receivers are more athletic than defensive backs. A weapon in any route or scenario that can make big plays, Ezukanma is just that.

Mike McDaniel will find a way to get Erik Ezukanma the football and let him eat.

Hussam Patel is a Miami Dolphins contributor and Lead NFL Draft analystat Five Reasons Sports Network, Director of Scouting at PhinManiacs and Editor at Dolphins ATB. Follow him on Twitter at@HussamPatel

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