Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State | NFL Draft Scouting Report

After a sophomore season that included a single game for the ages, NFL draft expectations are high for Kansas State edge Felix Anudike-Uzomah.

After producing one of the most memorable single-game performances in college football history, Kansas State defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah enters the 2023 NFL Draft cycle as a hot commodity. In an EDGE class that is set to be headlined by Will Anderson Jr., can the Wildcats prospect assert himself amongst the “best of the rest” with a solid junior season? An early voyage into his NFL draft scouting report verifies a legitimate candidacy.

Felix Anudike-Uzomah NFL draft profile

While he’s earned early acclaim in the 2023 NFL Draft EDGE class, Anudike-Uzomah hasn’t always been held in such high regard. A three-star recruit out of Lee’s Summit High School in the 2020 class, he was initially committed to North Dakota State until a late flip to Kansas State in 2019. Anudike-Uzomah’s production potential was apparent even then, with 184 tackles, 55 tackles for loss, and 13 sacks in a three-year high school career.

Weighing just 220 pounds at high school probably didn’t help. Despite this, Anudike-Uzomah played in five games for Kansas State as a true freshman. He tallied three tackles, including his first career sack against Kansas. Yet, his true impact on college football and the excitement for his NFL draft potential came during his sophomore campaign last fall.

If it hadn’t been for a ludicrous NCAA rule, we’d be talking about Anudike-Uzomah’s six-sack performance against TCU as the best of all time. Still, four sacks isn’t too shabby. The game contributed to Anudike-Uzomah’s 0.85 sacks per game (11 total and 11th nationally) while the Kansas State EDGE tied the national lead with 0.46 forced fumbles per game (six total).

Anudike-Uzomah became the first player in school history to register two three-sack games while tallying 14.5 tackles for loss. As a result, he enters 2022 on a wave of expectation.

  • Position: Defensive End
  • School: Kansas State
  • Current Year: Junior
  • Height/Weight: 6’4″, 255 pounds

Anudike-Uzomah’s scouting report

That expectation paves the way for excitement over Anudike-Uzomah’s 2023 NFL Draft projection. It’s always important to understand that production doesn’t always translate to pro potential. However, when you flip on the tape, it’s almost immediately apparent that there’s something special there with the Kansas State EDGE.

While we’ll pump the brakes with some areas of improvement later on, digging into the strengths of Anudike-Uzomah’s game indicates that he has the skills to translate college numbers into NFL success.

Anudike-Uzomah’s strengths

The Kansas State strength staff have done a fantastic job with Anudike-Uzomah in terms of his physical preparation for the NFL level. Arriving at the program weighing just 220 pounds, he now tips the scales at 255 pounds.

On his 6’4″ frame, he looks the part of an NFL pass rusher. He’s high cut, with his long legs allowing him to eat up ground in pursuit. Meanwhile, the 2023 NFL Draft prospect appears to be blessed with excellent length.

Those long legs give Anudike-Uzomah the basis for an impressive athletic profile. He possesses good play speed, with his long strides building a head of steam as he makes his way to the ball carrier. There are multiple examples on tape of Anudike-Uzomah chasing down opponents downfield to make a play. Furthermore, they act as a catalyst for off-snap explosion. The Kansas State EDGE routinely beats his man to the punch as a result.

Anudike-Uzomah also demonstrates excellent lateral agility as part of his athletic profile. He’s able to flip his trajectory of attack relatively effortlessly, enabling him to appear to attack the outside track before making his move internally. This lateral agility is also demonstrated against the run game where he’s shown the ability to keep his feet moving laterally to scrape across the formation and make his way to the ball carrier.

There’s a clear physicality to Anudike-Uzomah’s game that, combined with his athletic prowess mentioned above, should ensure he’s an alluring 2023 NFL Draft prospect. The Kansas State EDGE has a strong lower body that often allows him to present as an immovable object in the ground game. Anudike-Uzomah is more than capable of standing his ground against larger offensive linemen. Meanwhile, he’s been able to use this lower body strength to move his opponents backward both in the ground game and as a pass rusher.

Felix Anudike-Uzomah
Jan 4, 2022; Houston, TX, USA; LSU Tigers running back Corey Kiner (21) rushes against Kansas State Wildcats defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah (91) in the third quarter in the 2022 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

As a pass rusher, Anudike-Uzomah flashes some violence in his hands to impact his opponent, which is enabled both by upper body strength and his length. He’s able to get his hands inside his opponent, and as a result, converts speed to power well as one weapon in his armory. There were multiple examples of him deploying a dip and rip move in the games studied while he also attempted to deploy spin moves.

There were some examples of Anudike-Uzomah being able to set the edge in the run game, an underrated element of NFL draft EDGE evaluation. Furthermore, against the run, he routinely showcases the ability to locate the ball carrier. Anudike-Uzomah utilizes his length to stop ball carriers in their tracks and frequently acts as a stonewall in the ground game.

In both the ground and passing game, the Kansas State EDGE has showcased his ability to overcome double-teams. His footwork and lower body strength are an asset in this regard. However, he’s also demonstrated the ability to use his length and hand work to disengage from blocks and make a play on the ball. Additionally, Anudike-Uzomah has demonstrated he can contort his body to knife between double-teams and get to the quarterback.

Whether pass rushing or defending the run, the 2023 NFL Draft prospect plays the game with a red hot motor. Anudike-Uzomah is relentless in pursuit no matter where he is on the field and equally combative at the point of attack. His competitive toughness is apparent in every play. Meanwhile, he offers a level of versatility, having played with his hand in the ground and stood up, and from multiple alignments on the defensive front.

Anudike-Uzomah’s areas of improvement

With his mix of athleticism, physicality, and relentless motor, Anudike-Uzomah has the skill set to match his impressive sophomore production as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect. However, there are some areas for improvement that might halt his ascent to the upper echelons of the class. Thankfully for the Kansas State edge rusher, these are largely coachable points that he can demonstrate development on this year and beyond.

In the games studied, it was rare to see Anudike-Uzomah put together a thorough pass-rush plan. While he has multiple weapons in his armory, Anudike-Uzomah doesn’t routinely piece them together to pose an unstoppable pass-rush threat. Learning how to string moves together and understanding which moves will help him overcome specific blocks, will only heighten his potency as a pass rusher. Meanwhile, maintaining low pad level while trying to execute spin moves will lead to more successful execution of that particular move.

I was impressed by the Kansas State EDGE’s ability and effort in the run game. But there is room for development here.

At times, Anudike-Uzomah can be ill-disciplined against the run, taking a dangerous “hit and hope” approach to overcoming blockers that at best proves unsuccessful and at worst derails the gap integrity of the defense. Taking a more disciplined approach will benefit his game substantially.

Although Anudike-Uzomah has an impressive athletic profile, there’s an element of concern there. In the games studied, he appeared to lack elite bend as a pass rusher off the edge. In fact, of the few instances where an offensive lineman managed to get him to the ground, it was as he attempted to bend around the outside track. That lack of flexibility may weaken his value in the eyes of NFL teams that covert bend off the edge.

Current draft projection for Kansas State EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah

The excitement is real. The hype is justified. The talent is tantalizing. Anudike-Uzomah has the ability to develop into an impressive all-around EDGE player in this 2023 NFL Draft class. He has the physical tools to succeed at the NFL level, and some of the mental attributes that contribute to top-level play are already evident in his game.

This upcoming CFB season will be crucially important for Anudike-Uzomah’s development and subsequent elevation of his 2023 NFL Draft stock. Would he be selected in the first round if the draft was today? Unlikely. Nevertheless, Anudike-Uzomah has the potential to be a Day 1 starter in the NFL if he continues on his upward trajectory.

While he won’t challenge Will Anderson Jr. or Clemson’s Myles Murphy right at the top of the class, don’t be surprised to see him right behind chasing them come next April.

Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and College Football Analyst for Pro Football Network. Check out the rest of his work here, and you can find him on Twitter: @ojhodgkinson.

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