Once considered a high potential offensive tackle prospect from Memphis, Obinna Eze has now moved to TCU, where he will look to update his NFL Draft spotting report and realize its much appreciated positive side. Eze has a lot of positive traits, but there is still a lot to work on. What is Eze’s outlook for 2020 and where does it need to improve?
Obinna Eze NFL Draft Profile
- Position: offensive tackle
- School: TCU
- Current year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’8 ″
- Weight: 334 pounds
Obinna Eze Scouting Report
If recent history continues until 2021, there are few schools that Eze could have chosen to pursue his career that would have been better than TCU. The Horned Frogs have a surprisingly strong track record when it comes to producing offensive line prospects. Over the past decade, TCU has developed personalities like Marcus Cannon, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Joseph Noteboom, Matt Pryor and current Chiefs starter Lucas Niang.
Looking back, horned frogs seem to have some type of tackle. They often prefer long, athletic bookend blockers, and that’s exactly what Eze is. When it comes to physical traits, Eze has a solid profile with a lot of strengths. What does this physical profile involve and, more importantly, how is it used?
Obinna Eze’s athletic profile
It doesn’t take long to see that Eze has great potential. The TCU OT is approximately 6’8 ″, 334 pounds, with an impressive build. It has an extremely long, high-hip frame with huge reach and a solid, densely built base. Her upper body is a bit thinner than her lower body, but Eze’s length gives her great natural leverage.
Some tackles the size of Eze don’t have the mobility to be successful, but Eze doesn’t fall for this trap. The TCU OT has great snap speed and mobility to be a traction blocker on racing games. He also exhibited fluid lateral mobility and freedom before the second level. In addition, Eze has good corrective athleticism. He can engage indoors and then switch to outdoor rushers as the games develop.
Eze’s size and athleticism combine to form an exciting mix. As a passing protector, Eze turns his hips and directs defenders out of the pocket with his length. On running sets, its length – combined with regular leg workout when anchored and good incline as a ascender – equates to tantalizing people-moving potential.
Execution beyond physical traits
When a player has more advantage than refinement, general terminology refers to that player as believed. For Eze, however, this term is a bit too harsh. As we’ll see, it still has room for development, but it also already has some exciting operational traits in its arsenal.
Most notably, Eze’s hands greatly impressed the tape that was watched. The TCU OT has shown that it can fight counters with quick and efficient hands. He has impressive moments of concentration and hand coordination when denying rushes, and he clearly has the ability to use fast and powerful hands. In addition, its length provides an excellent conduit with which it can generate artificial energy.
To take it further, Eze can stack hand movements and target weak spots in defensive linemen. He keeps his elbows as a pass protector to maximize potential energy and extension strength. Considering its natural leverage, correctly executed extensions by Eze have a ton of power. It also has the ability to attack, disengage, and stack blocks quickly in open fields.
Among other things, Eze plays with a solid knee flexion and he lowers his cushion level well for his height. He also possesses the awareness of recognizing the extra rushers that creep through.
Areas of improvement
The potential is immense with Eze, but there are several areas where he could improve. More specifically, its positioning, the efficiency of the movement and the consistency.
For Eze, the effectiveness of the movement might be the most pressing issue. Although he is a good athlete, he has tension in his hips at times and he can also be stiff when changing direction. Her footwork can be jerky when pairing around the edge, and her weight transfers can be smoother.
By going further, Eze’s positioning can also improve. The TCU OT is sometimes out of balance when working to close the side lanes, and sometimes it extends before it has a good position. It makes him wobble and make himself vulnerable. Eze can improve his footwork as a run blocker, and in general he can gain better synergy between his upper and lower body.
Even Eze’s hands, while strong, can be inconsistent and uncoordinated. The TCU OT sometimes wraps their arms around defenders, and they don’t always put their hands under their opponent’s pads. He lets the hands of the on-board rushers enter his chest too easily. His hands can strike more cleanly, as he streaks when trying to establish his anchor. Its grip strength isn’t overwhelming either. At this point, he doesn’t always properly channel his length and power, and that will be a problem at the next level.
Obinna Eze’s NFL Draft screening report preview
Few offensive tackles carry more weight in the 2021 season than Eze. With a year of solid development, Eze could become a first-round pick. For now, however, he’s probably an early to mid-day hope with a rise. Eze is a great athlete with a tall, towering frame, but he still needs to fine tune his game and add more upper body strength if possible.
There are some good glimpses of the use of hands in Eze’s movie. The TCU OT undoubtedly knows how to defend itself against several kinds of rushes. It also has a solid base and lateral mobility to match rushers if needed. Overall consistency should be Eze’s goal in his only season with the Horned Frogs. If he can effectively channel his lower and upper body features and take it to the next level, he could earn an early starting opportunity in the NFL.
Obinna Eze player profile
Originally from Nigeria, Eze originally came to the United States with the ambition of becoming a basketball player. He arrived in Tennessee in 2015, but quickly developed an appreciation for football. He started playing football in 2016, and from there his career took off. His athletic gifts were clear among his counterparts and he dominated his competition.
In 2017, Eze was a highly regarded four-star recruit to ESPN’s board of directors. Ranked 251st player in class and 27th best tackle, Eze drew offers from LSU, Florida, Auburn and Ole Miss. Still, Eze passed up the opportunity to play in the SEC and chose to stay in the state, signing with Mike Norvell and the Memphis Tigers.
Eze’s career in Memphis
The Tigers knew they got a good deal. Coming to campus, Eze had a looming 6’7 ″, 279-pound frame. Even at this size, it had a stellar 40-yard 5.22 dashboard and 28.8-inch vertical. Eze’s advantage was palpable, but he was still fairly new to the game. So, he redshirted his 2017 season and only played six games in 2018, registering some left tackle action.
In 2019, Eze received his first full-time starting role at the college level. Now he was ready. Eze has locked down the left side of the line for two full seasons, starting 14 games in 2019 and 11 in 2020. After the 2020 season, Eze opted to enter the transfer portal. Although grateful for his time in Memphis, he sought to continue his development and he focused on TCU as the right place to accomplish this.
Obinna Eze’s impending rise to NFL TCU draft
Historically, TCU has done well with athletic and tool-rich tackles. Eze is expected to meet similar success. Eze is already on the Senior Bowl watchlist, and his progress through 2019 and 2020 suggests he’s still on the rise.
Eze is in a great place with the Horned Frogs. He has a stable coaching staff, an experienced starting quarterback and plenty of pass protection reps to come. If he can continue to refine his movement, positioning and hand efficiency, he has the potential to be a Day 2 pick with a rising start, much like Niang before him.
Ian Cummings is Project Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can find his handwriting here, and his voice and his face on Pro Football Network Daily. Follow him on twitter @ ian_cummings_9.