Pass rusher Arnold Ebiketie started his career at Temple before moving on to Penn State. Now, he is looking to hear his name called in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. See how he stacks up at the position.
Height – 6’2”
Weight – 250 Pounds
DOB – N/A
School – Penn State
Position – Edge Rusher
Arm Length – 34 1/8”
Hand Size – 10 1/4”
Wingspan – 82 1/8”
Bench Press – 21 Reps
Vertical Jump – 38”
Broad Jump – 128”
Arnold Ebiketie was born in Yaoundé, Cameroon before eventually finding his way to the States and splitting time between both Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland and Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, Maryland. During his final year in high school, Ebiketie sent shockwaves around the country by recording a monstrous 21.5 sacks. This resulted in Ebiketie receiving an offer from Temple, leading to his decommitment from Towson (an FCS school that he previously committed to as a junior).
At Temple, Ebiketie put up less-than-spectacular numbers, but a productive 2020 led to some interest from power-five schools. James Franklin and the Penn State Nittany Lions were lucky enough to land Ebiketie via the transfer portal. Thankfully for both Ebiketie and his new school, there is no longer a requirement to sit out a year following a transfer. Thus, the budding star pass rusher was granted immediate eligibility for the 2021 season.
In his lone season at Penn State, Ebiketie made strides that nobody could have anticipated. Not only did he display a more diverse catalog of pass rush moves, he parlayed that improved technique into a career high sack total (9.5). Quarterbacks were not the only ones getting terrorized by Ebiketie, as he showed a willingness to engage ball carriers just the same. He added 18 tackles for loss to the total and forced two fumbles.
Thanks to his move to the Big Ten, he became a target for many evaluators. This continued throughout the offseason process as Ebiketie stood out as arguably the best pass rusher at the Senior Bowl. He did not work out at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, sans the bench press in which he put up 225-pounds, 21 times. Let’s take a closer at Ebiketie, and highlight some of his best attributes (and a few that need improved).
2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Frame – Arnold Ebiketie looks like the Terminator. His wingspan and arm length are awe-inspiring, and the strength that he contains as a pass rusher is rare. He more than looks the part, and the measurements all back up the eye test. If you had to blindly pick pass rushers strictly off of appearance, Ebiketie would be the first one off the board.
Agility – Ebiketie is not only built like a brick house, he’s also incredibly agile. This was the biggest revelation for me during my deep dive. Ebiketie moves from side-to-side so easily, giving him a chance to make a play on a majority of his snaps. He uses this agility as a pass rusher, but flexes it the most in pursuit of ball carriers.
Pass Rush Moves – Ebiketie continues to add to his resume by possessing the best catalog of pass rushing moves that I evaluated. He has never lost a hand fight and uses the aforementioned athleticism to keep offensive tackles on their heels. When you line up across from Ebiketie, there’s no telling what pass rush move he is going to hit you with.
Consistent Improvement – Ebiketie was not a five-star recruit that had a cake walk to this point. He worked for everything he ever earned. After showing out for the Temple Owls, Ebiketie moved on to Penn State and improved yet again. Surprisingly, he looked even better by the time Senior Bowl came around. He has a yearning to become the best player he can be, and that’s something coaches will fall head-over-heels for.
Bend – One thing that keeps Ebiketie from contending for the No.1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft is his lack of elite bend around the edge. He has a tendency to come off of the snap a bit high, leading to stalled attempts at getting to the quarterback. He must become more flexible as a pass rusher, because if he doesn’t correct this it will hinder him from ever realizing his full potential.
Run Support – The other main gripe that I have with Ebiketie is that he’s not always a plus run defender. While his long arms are a weapon as a pass rusher, they also hold him back in run support. There are times that Ebiketie gets his arms tied up and is unable to get off the block. This usually results in some big gainers by opposing running backs. If he wants to be viewed as an all-around threat, this part of his game must be refined.
First Step – This one is a bit nit-picky, because there were only a handful of instances where Ebiketie was slow off the snap. His timing is impeccable, synchronizing his first step to the snap on most occasions. However, on each of the plays that Ebiketie didn’t get a clean break off the line, the offense capitalized in a major way with some huge yardage. He is such an enforcer for the defensive line unit that he simply cannot put himself in a position to be taken out of plays.
Arnold Ebiketie has never gotten the proper amount of praise that he deserves. From an unheralded high school prospect, to an underrated college talent, to now being a forgotten man when the 2022 NFL Draft is brought up. Ebiketie has come a long way since being born in Cameroon, and I think he is just getting started. After a phenomenal senior season and offseason, Ebiketie falls just outside of my top-ten overall prospects. He profiles as an elite option on defense, and I view his ceiling as a Danielle Hunter-level player, which is very high praise. If he doesn’t hear his name called on day one of the 2022 NFL Draft, he’s going to be a steal at the top of round two.