Ifeanyi Maijeh, Rutgers DT | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Ifeanyi Maijeh's scouting report -- is the former Temple DT a potential sleeping giant in the 2022 NFL Draft defensive tackle class?

Since 2010, Rutgers has had just 18 players drafted to the NFL, with no selections in the last two classes. However, times they are a-changing under Greg Schiano. Defensive tackle Ifeanyi Maijeh is a legitimate 2022 NFL Draft prospect. The Temple DT transfer arrives in Piscataway with a growing reputation, but what does Maijeh’s scouting report reveal about his potential to play at the next level? 

Ifeanyi Maijeh NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Defensive Tackle
  • School: Rutgers
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 280 pounds

Ifeanyi Maijeh Scouting Report

New Rutgers DT Ifeanyi Maijeh is already on the radar as a 2022 NFL Draft prospect. Having been recently named to the Senior Bowl Watchlist, their team of scouts will be eyeing him closely with a view to his appearance in college football’s premier all-star game. His scouting report reveals some impressive upside to substantiate his reputation.

Maijeh has been praised for his athletic ability since high school, and with one glance at his tape, it’s easy to see why. The Temple transfer displays quick footwork at the line of scrimmage, giving him exceptional explosion. He also has fantastic lateral agility, allowing him to cut inside and shoot through gaps or move seamlessly across the line of scrimmage. 

In addition to his ability to penetrate with athletic ability, Maijeh can get skinny to slide through double-teams. There were multiple examples of him worming his way between blockers to get into the backfield in the games studied. 

While he can disrupt with athleticism, Maijeh also exhibits great play strength. He routinely forces his will on offensive linemen. I witnessed multiple occasions where he walked his man back into the quarterback.

He can convert speed to power, bull rush, and has several pass-rush moves in his toolbox. Furthermore, he combines these attributes with a tremendous motor and impressive length to be a disruptive force from the interior defensive line. 

Areas for improvement 

While Maijeh’s scouting report reveals some alluring potential, there are areas for improvement. 

At present, he feels very much like a work in progress. His athletic ability is there, and he has pass-rush weapons at his disposal. The Rutgers DT now needs to put it all together consistently.

When his initial pass-rush move doesn’t win, can he work some counters into his game? Can he disengage from blocks with handwork a little quicker? Can he read the game a little faster? These are all things that I’d like to see him demonstrate this fall. 

A potential issue for NFL teams will be injury history. Now, Maijeh has yet to miss time with an injury. However, he played hurt last season, and it evidently impacted his game. During training camp at Rutgers, it has been reported that he’s struggling with a “lower body” injury. It may be a non-issue, but it’s something to keep an eye on through the season. 

Ifeanyi Maijeh Player Profile

Not all NFL Draft prospects start their journey as five-star high school recruits. Coming out of Brooklyn Poly Prep, Maijeh carried a two-star rating by 247 Sports. Additionally, he was only considered the 126th weakside defensive end in the 2017 recruiting class. 

As a result, the New York native saw little love from college programs. Heading into his senior season, he’d received just one collegiate offer, committing to New Hampshire in December 2016. 

However, an impressive senior season piqued interest from several prominent college programs. Maijeh led Poly Prep with 9 sacks and 7 tackles for loss as he earned first-team All-City honors and was named the Ivy League Defensive MVP. 

Although in-state interest came from Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights never extended an offer. Therefore, he took his footballing talents to the tough Philadelphia school of Temple.

Maijeh’s college football career

Listed at 220 pounds by NCSA as a high school senior, Maijeh had been an athletic defensive end and tight end for Poly Prep. To succeed at the college level, he would need some serious seasoning to meet the physical rigors posed by the increased standard. 

As a result, Maijeh redshirted his first season for the Owls. Even in his redshirt-freshman season, he saw limited action in a defensive front that featured Michael Dogbe and Quincy Roche. 

Although their presence limited his opportunity, his game was sharpened by his exposure to the future NFL players. The athletic defensive lineman registered a tackle on his debut against Boston College, added a tackle for loss against East Carolina, and finished the 2018 season strongly with 2 tackles in the Independence Bowl clash with Duke. 

Maijeh carried that momentum into a breakout 2019 campaign

The Temple DT secured his first career sack in the season opener against Bucknell. It was the first start of his career and the first of 12 in his redshirt-sophomore season. He was named the Chuck Bednarik National Defensive Player of the Week two weeks later, following a dominant performance at Maryland.

With a career-high 9-tackle performance against Cincinnati providing more highlights, Maijeh racked up 52 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble in 2019. The Temple DT earned first-team All-AAC honors, capping off a standout season. 

His performances in 2019 earned him both national and in-house recognition ahead of the 2020 college football season. Maijeh was named to “watch lists” for the major defensive college football awards, including the Bednarik. Moreover, Temple honored him with a single-digit jersey for the season, exemplifying his toughness. 

Unfortunately, 2020 wouldn’t live up to the standard of 2019. Playing hurt in a disrupted season, Maijeh tallied just 15 tackles in 7 games. Meanwhile, a forced fumble against Memphis and a tackle for loss against East Carolina would sum up 2020’s highlights. 

Will a transfer to Rutgers help boost Maijeh’s 2022 NFL Draft stock?

Having graduated, Maijeh took the opportunity to transfer from the Owls at the end of the season. The Brooklyn native wasn’t in the transfer portal long. With connections to Rutgers, including defensive line coach Jim Panagos and star linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi (Maijeh’s cousin), a reunion with the team that had courted him in 2016 was quickly secured. 

If Rutgers can unlock Maijeh’s potential from 2019, he will be a riser in the 2022 NFL Draft class. He is on the recently announced Senior Bowl Watchlist, so he is on the radar for scouts and analysts alike. In my most recent mock draft for Pro Football Network, the Rutgers DT was a fourth-round selection of the New England Patriots. 

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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