A key component of a Kansas State defense that powered the Wildcats to a Big 12 title, Felix Anudike-Uzomah heads to the 2023 NFL Draft as a productive and relentless pass-rush prospect. Anudike-Uzomah earned first-round attention early in the cycle, but does his scouting report warrant that hype?
Felix Anudike-Uzomah NFL Draft Profile
Anudike-Uzomah was a three-star recruit out of Lee’s Summit High School in the 2020 class, who was initially committed to North Dakota State until a late flip to Kansas State in 2019. While his production potential was apparent even then — with 184 tackles, 55 tackles for loss, and 13 sacks in a three-year high school career — a slender frame didn’t help his recruiting.
Following a true freshman season where he logged his first career sack, Anudike-Uzomah had a breakout season as a sophomore in 2021. His performance against TCU, where the NCAA removed two of his six sacks on a technicality, should go down in history as the standard bearer for a “breakout” game.
The Kansas State pass rusher logged 0.85 sacks per game and led the nation with six forced fumbles. Meanwhile, he became the first player in Wildcats history to register two three-sack games while tallying 14.5 tackles for loss, ensuring that he entered the 2022 college football season as a hotly anticipated draft prospect.
With ludicrous production expectations to match, Anudike-Uzomah saw a drop off in pass-rush statistics but still maintained his standing as one of the most dangerous threats in the nation. Subsequently, his 11 TFLs and eight sacks powered him to Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year recognition before his declaration for the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Position: Defensive End
- School: Kansas State
- Current Year: Junior
- Height/Weight: 6’3″, 255 pounds
Anudike-Uzomah’s Scouting Report
Anudike-Uzomah entered the 2023 NFL cycle with substantial enthusiasm over his potential as a pass-rush prospect. Looking at the strengths of his scouting report, it’s easy to see why. While his areas of improvement might cause halt for his ascent up the class, let’s start by analyzing what the Kansas State EDGE does so well.
Kansas State’s 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 6’3″ frame, he looks the part of an NFL outside linebacker. He’s high cut, with his long legs allowing him to eat up ground in pursuit.
While his lack of appearance at the NFL Combine doesn’t allow us to quantify it, the genesis of Anudike-Uzomah’s scouting report lies within an impressive athletic profile. The KSU EDGE plays with good play speed and showcases an exciting level of acceleration and explosiveness as a pass rusher. He’s quick off the snap, routinely beating his opponent to the punch.
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. In this regard, Anudike-Uzomah’s lateral agility is weaponized by the ability to locate the runner and also utilize body control to make tackles that would otherwise seem unlikely — if not impossible.
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.
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 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.
His combination of length and physicality powers an impressive bull rush. Additionally, there were multiple examples of him deploying a dip and rip move in the games studied while he also attempted to deploy spin moves.
Encouragingly, Anudike-Uzomah already showcases the ability to formulate a pass-rush plan and deploy it to devastating effect.
Having the physical and technical ability counts for very little without the will and desire to channel it. Thankfully, the hallmark of Anudike-Uzomah’s scouting report is a red-hot motor. The Kansas State EDGE plays at an unrelenting pace in all phases, showcasing competitive toughness on every play.
Areas of Improvement
Although Anudike-Uzomah’s scouting report is littered with impressive pass-rush tools and exciting athletic components, there are some areas of improvement that could halt his ascent into Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Kansas State pass rusher has a nicely developed pass-rush toolbox and showcases his ability to put a pre-snap pass-rush plan into effect. However, when faced with opposition that thwarts his initial plan, Anudike-Uzomah’s progress to the ball carrier can be thwarted.
As such, the EDGE prospect needs to develop counter moves that would allow him to become a truly dominant NFL pass rusher. Furthermore, maintaining a low-pad level while trying to execute spin moves will lead to more success when utilizing that element of his pass-rush toolbox.
Although he’s showcased some flexibility to bend around the edge, Anudike-Uzomah isn’t elite in that regard, which could impact his value at the next level. I was impressed by the Kansas State EDGE’s ability and effort in the run game, but there’s 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. Furthermore, he can be more impactful against the run with a wider base.
Current Draft Projection for Kansas State EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah
After earning first-round hype in the early part of the 2023 NFL Draft cycle, does Anudike-Uzomah’s scouting report concur with that initial assessment? Sadly for the Kansas State EDGE, it does not.
However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t the potential for significant NFL production both in the short and long term. In an impressive EDGE class, Anudike-Uzmoah should hear his name called on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Anudike-Uzomah’s combination of motor, explosiveness, lateral agility, a bevy of pass-rush moves, and, most importantly, the wherewithal to use them effectively, should earn him the opportunity to see the field as a situational pass rusher early in his career.
With his frame and skill set, Anudike-Uzomah is best suited to a role as a 3-4 OLB at the NFL level. Use from a wider alignment will allow him to maximize his explosiveness and ability to fly around the edge while mitigating some of the areas of concern on his scouting report.
Felix Anudike-Uzomah Combine Measurements and Results
The Kansas State prospect did not perform at the 2023 NFL Combine after being excused from testing due to a right foot injury. Although he performed some testing drills at the Wildcats Pro Day, Anudike-Uzomah did not post a 40-yard dash time during that workout.
According to Pro Football Network Chief NFL Draft Analyst Tony Pauline, there was chatter during the event that the Kansas State pass rusher was struggling with a groin issue. Despite this, he reportedly performed positional drills with Baltimore Ravens OLB coach Chuck Smith.
- Wingspan: 80 1/8″
- Arm: 33 1/2″
- Hand: 9 5/8″
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