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    Ikenna Enechukwu, DE, Rice | NFL Draft Scouting Report

    A multi-year starter on defense with positional versatility, what does Rice DE Ikenna Enechukwu's scouting report suggest about his NFL Draft projection?

    The 2023 NFL Draft class features a stacked group of defenders, and Rice DE Ikenna Enechukwu is a name to watch as the draft approaches following a productive collegiate career. While most of the conversation has been focused on the top names in the class, what does Enechukwu’s scouting report suggest about his NFL Draft stock?

    Ikenna Enechukwu NFL Draft Profile

    • Position: Defensive End
    • School: Rice
    • Year: Redshirt Senior

    Enechukwu is part of a deep defensive draft, particularly at the edge position. He was an unranked two-star recruit from Ruskin High School in Kansas City, Missouri.

    As a senior, he received second-team Class 5A All-State honors from the Missouri Football Coaches Association and the media. A three-year starter, Enechukwu was also a qualifier and all-district selection as a wrestler at 220 pounds, and he also participated in the marching band before setting his sites on the Conference USA.

    Enechukwu played in only one game as he redshirted his freshman year but saw action in 11 contests in 2019, recording 27 tackles, 4.5 for a loss, eight pressures, and 1.5 sacks. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the C-USA played a modified schedule, with Enechukwu starting and participating in all five of the Owls’ games. He was credited with 10 tackles and a pair of hurries during the season.

    In 2021, starting all 12 games (nine at DT and three at DE), Enechukwu was credited with a career-high in tackles (48), tackles for loss (eight), and sacks (4.5) while also leading the team in QB hurries with 20.

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    A redshirt senior, Enechukwu equaled his success in 2022, despite the added pressure of being a potential draft pick. In 13 games, he recorded 37 tackles and had a career-high of 9.5 tackles for loss, 31 pressures, 4.5 sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

    A member of the Outland and Wuerffl Trophy Watchlists, Enechukwu was an AFCA Good Works Team nominee and was selected to the East-West Shrine Bowl and the NFL Combine. Enechukwu had success at both events.

    He had several good moments in one-on-one drills and the game itself in Las Vegas, and while in Indianapolis, he measured in at 6’4″ and 264 pounds while running a 4.7 40-yard dash with a 1.66-second 10-yard split — he even jumped 31.5″ in the vert and 10’0″ in the broad.

    A two-time All-Conference USA honorable mention, what does Enechukwu’s scouting report suggest about his strengths and weaknesses as a draft prospect?

    Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Ikenna Enechukwu

    Strengths: Explosive and somewhat athletic college defensive end who has been a disruptive force the past two years. Quick off the snap, agile, and easily moves about the field. Plays with proper pad level, quickly changes direction, and moves well laterally.

    Fights with his hands, bends off the edge, and keeps his feet moving. Agile, displays a variety of moves to get off blocks, and immediately alters his angle of attack. Chases the action hard and plays through the whistle.

    Weaknesses: Lacks bulk, gets smothered at the point of attack, and gets hammered against the run. Doesn’t show great speed pursuing plays laterally.

    Overall: Enechukwu is a smart, tough, and somewhat athletic prospect who comes with an upside. He’s a solid pass rusher who must get bigger as well as stronger and complete his game to have a spot at the next level.

    Ikenna Enechukwu Combine Measurements and Results

    • Height: 6’4″
    • Weight: 264 pounds
    • Arm Length: 33 5/8″
    • Hand Size: 9 5/8″
    • Bench Press: DNP
    • 40-Yard Dash: 4.70
    • Vertical Jump: 31.5″
    • Broad Jump: 10’0″

    Rice DE Ikenna Enechukwu Current Draft Projection

    You are in luck if you’re an NFL team heading into the draft that needs help on the defensive line. Although Will Anderson Jr., Tyree Wilson, and Myles Murphy are some of the highest-ranked players in the entire class, Stills will be waiting quite a bit longer to hear his name called.

    While he won’t be mentioned in the same category, Enechukwu will hear his name called during the NFL Draft process. Currently, he’s the 222nd-ranked player on Tony Pauline’s Big Board as the DE18 with a 3.33 grade and a draft projection that places him in the sixth round.

    MORE: When Is the 2023 NFL Draft? Dates, Draft Order, Location, and More

    Although Enechukwu is not the most fluid of players, he has the frame and length to garner attention as a developmental prospect. However, there are questions about where he can and will play at the next level.

    In 2021, Enechukwu played primarily inside at a 4i or 3-tech but then spent the majority of 2022 playing as a traditional 5-tech. During the Shrine Bowl, he also had success playing at the 3-tech.

    That versatility will certainly aid Enechukwu as he makes his transition to the NFL. Still, his consistency drastically needs to improve, and there are also questions about how he will deal with NFL-caliber talent, having spent his career outside of the Power Five. Enechukwu will undoubtedly be an interesting name to watch during the 2023 NFL Draft and beyond.

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