After an impressive junior season, South Carolina defensive end Kingsley Enagbare attracted attention late in the 2021 NFL Draft cycle. Instead of pursuing professional opportunities, he opted to return to Columbia for his senior season. In doing so, has Enagbare positioned himself to join Jaycee Horn, Javon Kinlaw, Jadeveon Clowney, and Melvin Ingram as a first-round NFL Draft selection from South Carolina? We examine the scouting report for the South Carolina DE to find out!
Kingsley Enagbare’s NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Defensive End
- School: South Carolina
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 260 pounds
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Kingsley Enagbare’s Scouting Report
After earning potential Day 2 consideration this year, Enagbare has garnered first-round respect in early discussions for the 2022 NFL Draft. While watching the tape to compile his scouting report, it’s quickly apparent why the South Carolina DE more and more frequently appears in first-round mock drafts.
At 6’4″ and 260 pounds, Enagbare has the size to play as a big defensive end in the NFL. His listed weight has been as high as 270 pounds, with some talk as he emerged from high school that he could get even heavier. This allows him to line up across the defensive line, which he has done for the Gamecocks. As a result, he offers positional versatility — which will only add to his NFL Draft value.
Versatility, athleticism, and a violent disposition
Enagbare could comfortably play as a 3-4 defensive end or a 3-technique in a 4-3 system. He can play with his hand in the dirt or standing up. In the “Buck” position for the Gamecocks, he has also been tasked with dropping back into coverage, further demonstrating his versatility.
Enagbare plays the game as if he is considerably lighter than his listed weight. For a player of his size, he has exceptional athletic ability. His play speed combined with his relentless motor ensures he’s disruptive not only as a pass rusher but also hunting down ball carriers. Enagbare reportedly worked out with the South Carolina defensive backs coach, and you can see the results of that work in his ability to backpedal when dropping back into coverage.
Although he has demonstrated the ability to set the edge in the ground game, rushing the passer is where Enagbare excels. In addition to his athletic ability, he has shown an arsenal of pass-rush moves, including swim and push-pull techniques. When he hits, he hits hard. Those abilities — combined with a violent disposition — make him a danger to quarterbacks across the nation.
Areas for improvement
Enagbare displays first-round potential, but there are areas for improvement and concern apparent when writing his scouting report.
First, the South Carolina DE required hip surgery in the 2019-2020 offseason. Although his performances in 2020 suggest that there were no issues, any surgery will at least arouse some worry for NFL teams. Furthermore, he missed the final two games of his junior campaign due to injury.
Despite displaying impressive speed and athletic tendencies, Enagbare could elevate his stock if he improves his timing this season. There were several examples on film where he is late getting to the quarterback due to being slow to react to the snap.
Kingsley Enagbare’s Player Profile
The last time a South Carolina DE was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, Enagbare was just a freshman at Hapeville Charter Academy in Atlanta. Even early in his high school career, it was apparent that Enagbare was an exceptional talent. Combining a unique blend of size, speed, and competitive toughness, he was one of those high school prospects that immediately stands out from the crowd.
Although his recruiting journey would begin as a three-star prospect, Enagbare was aggressively pursued by schools across the nation. By the spring following his junior season, the 10th-ranked defensive end in the 2018 class garnered nearly 20 offers.
Naturally, in-state interest was high with bids from Georgia, Georgia State, and Georgia Tech. Auburn and Tennessee proposed additional opportunities to play in the SEC. Meanwhile, the prestigious nature of an offer from Notre Dame warranted attention.
Nevertheless, the star DE committed to South Carolina before his senior year and never wavered. With his designation confirmed, Enagbare could focus on the football field for his final high school campaign. Gamecock fans got a glimpse of what to expect from their young defensive end as he earned Class AA Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-State honors.
Enagbare’s career at South Carolina
While some players take their time to acclimate to the college football level, Enagbare made an immediate impact as a freshman. Making his debut against Coastal Carolina, he went on to appear in 12 games for the Gamecocks. He registered his first tackle for loss against Tennessee, one of three on the season, and his first career sack against Akron. The South Carolina DE also impressed on special teams, blocking a PAT against Chattanooga.
Enagbare saw time in another 12 games as a sophomore, earning his first career start against Charleston Southern. His production ramped up, logging 27 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. The pass rusher displayed a penchant for performing in high-pressure games, generating sacks against Texas A&M, Georgia, and Clemson. Moreover, Enagbare set a then career-high 6 tackles against the Tigers, including a hit on Trevor Lawrence that wasn’t greatly received by their in-state rivals.
Although surgery and the general disruption of the 2020 offseason threatened to hamper his junior season, Enagbare thrived. Showcasing his versatility, he started eight games at the Gamecocks “Buck” position. In addition, he led the team in sacks (6) and tackles for loss (7) despite missing the season’s last two contests. Furthermore, his 0.75 sacks and 0.38 forced fumbles per game ranked second in the SEC. As a result, Enagbare’s performances earned him first-team All-SEC recognition from the conference’s coaches and Phil Steele.
Despite the increased attention following his junior year production, Enagbare returns to the Gamecocks for his senior campaign. If he continues his current trajectory, there’s every reason to believe he’ll be the first South Carolina DE to hear their name called on Day 1 of the NFL Draft since Clowney in 2014.