Arnold Ebiketie – edge rusher – 23 years – Senior – Penn State
Cut : 1m91
Weight : 116 kilos
Estimated draft position: 2and-3and tower
Stats 2021: 62 tackles, including 18 for loss, 9 and a half sacks, 2 forced fumbles, one pass defended
NFL Comparison: Frank Clark
- Already a formidable technician
- Decent array of moves
- Sufficiently physical and athletic
The NFL Draft often highlights prospects who have experienced an absolutely meteoric rise. And this year, Arnold Ebiketie can be classified in this category. Almost unknown when he left high school in Maryland, the native of Yaoundé, Cameroon ended up exploding into the open during the 2020 season marked by the Covid. Within Temple’s small program, Ebiketie established himself as the main defensive star and eventually caught the eye of the big teams in the Northeastern United States. It is at Penn State that he will finally have his chance, to try to take over from Odafe Oweh. Mission accomplished in 2021, in a defense just as breathtaking as the simple personal performance of the edge rusher. If, at first glance, the defender does not present anything flashy, it is his complete appearance which allowed him to make his classes at great speed. The main weapon in his arsenal is undoubtedly technique. Quite compact, and equipped with a well-established center of gravity, Ebiketie also relies on formidable hands, just as violent as they are constantly in motion. The placement of the upper body allows him to often put his lineman on the back foot and increase the pressure in the pocket, like the 18 tackles for loss and the 32 QB hurries generated on the last exercise. Capable of being powerful and lively (a time of 4.60 at the combine, on the 40 yards), the Nittany Lions player is also reactive and can adapt to any type of opponent, especially as he has his active a variety of moves quite varied.
- Discipline in particular the run stop
- Potential difficult to assess
The real brake on Ebiketie today seems to be its long-term potential. His many qualities on the pass rush have often confined him to this type of mission and if the versatility is credible, it has not been palpable during his last two seasons. In a monstrous Penn State defense in 2021, too little “AK” was seen in run-stop situations. This does not mean that it has not been effective in this area, quite the contrary. But his relative experience and his lack of discipline leads him to sometimes take suspicious angles against the race or to simply let himself be taken on the outside, by his excessive commitment. What is he also worth on the cover, if he were to be tested as an outside linebacker? His sprawling arms are salivating and have already demonstrated their effectiveness in finishing actions or blocking field goals on special teams, but the sample is again a little too weak.
Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings
Hardworking, sober and efficient, Arnold Ebiketie has many tools to perform at the next level. Admittedly, the scouts can only rely on a year and a half of production, including a full year in a defense armed to the teeth featuring intriguing prospects (Ellis Brooks, Brandon Smith, Jaquan Brisker) but the edge rusher seems have the background, the mindset and the determination to quickly integrate into the rotation. It remains to identify his preferred spot, and if a role of defensive end 4-3 seems the safest given the power of the guy, but his size and his speed would in no way make a passage in linebacker 3-4 wacky …