One year ago, South Carolina defensive end Kingsley Enagbare spurned NFL Draft attention to return to the Gamecocks for his senior season. He did so with the expectation that he could translate early-round conversation into Day 1 consideration. Did Enagbare succeed in elevating his NFL Draft stock this season? Let’s examine his scouting report to find out.
Kingsley Enagbare NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Defensive End
- School: South Carolina
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’3 3/4″
- Weight: 261
- Wingspan: 83 5/8″
- Arm: 35″
- Hand: 10 1/4″
Kingsley Enagbare Scouting Report
After earning potential Day 2 consideration this year, Enagbare has garnered first-round respect in early discussions for the 2022 NFL Draft. He has frequently appeared in first-round mock drafts throughout the cycle. Has he managed to hold this opinion through a difficult season and an ever-deepening edge class?
Currently, Enagbare is listed as the 34th overall prospect on the Pro Football Network consensus 2022 NFL Draft Big Board. His size, power, and versatility are all alluring attributes that should see him earn Day 2 consideration. However, the areas for improvement on his scouting report could prevent his ascension into the first round.
Let’s start with the positive aspects of Enagbare’s NFL Draft scouting report. At 6’4″ and 265 pounds, Enagbare has the size to play defensive end in the NFL. His listed weight has been as high as 270 pounds — as he emerged from high school, there was thought 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. 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. He’s also been tasked with dropping into coverage for the Gamecocks.
Versatility, athleticism, and a violent disposition
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. The South Carolina EDGE showcases excellent explosion, with a quick first step that allows him to win at the point of attack. He also demonstrates some ability to bend around the edge with decent body control and footwork.
His play speed combined with his relentless motor ensures he’s disruptive not only as a pass rusher but 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.
In addition to his athletic ability, Enagbare uses impressive length and technical ability to be a danger at the point of attack. He can extend his arms to keep offensive tackles at bay, and he showcases violence with his hands when he makes clean and timely contact. The South Carolina defensive lineman uses his length to disengage from blockers in the run game.
Although he has demonstrated the ability to set the edge in the ground game, rushing the passer is where Enagbare excels. He possesses an arsenal of pass-rush moves, including swim and push-pull techniques. There were multiple examples on film of him pile driving opposing offensive linemen to the ground with a potent bull rush. When he hits, he hits hard.
Areas for improvement
Enagbare’s size, athleticism, and versatility make him an alluring prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft, even in a deep EDGE class. However, there are some areas that he still needs to improve upon that could limit his stock this spring. Additionally, there are some injury concerns that NFL teams will no doubt want to investigate.
The South Carolina DE required hip surgery in the 2019-2020 offseason. Although his performance in 2020 suggests 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.
As a pass rusher, Ebagbare showcases impressive qualities. However, there are some improvements to be made here. In a modern NFL world that is trending towards bendier edge rushers, the South Carolina defensive end is only sufficient in this regard. Moreover, he still needs to improve his timing from a hand-usage perspective and how quickly he gets to the quarterback.
A far better pass rusher than run defender, Enagbare will need to improve in this regard to maximize his potential. Too often, the South Carolina EDGE fails to read the game fast enough to be impactful against the run. Furthermore, while he has impressive speed and explosion, he isn’t a particularly stellar lateral athlete, which inhibits his ability to scrape across the line of scrimmage.
Enagbare 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. After 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 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, as he logged 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.
A roller-coaster final two seasons for South Carolina
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.
Although his junior campaign earned him attention as a 2021 NFL Draft prospect, Enagbare opted to return to the Gamecocks for his senior season. He impressed as the program’s Defensive Player of the Year during spring ball. Yet, the South Carolina pass rusher didn’t manage to exceed his production from the previous year in the 2021 CFB season.
There were standout performances against East Carolina (2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss) and a dominant Georgia offensive line. However, he failed to replicate his All-SEC honors from the previous season, finishing the year with 7 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. Despite the relatively down year, Enagbare has the opportunity to reignite his NFL Draft stock at the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Tony Pauline’s scouting report for Kingsley Enagbare
Positives: Forceful college pass rusher who squeezes every ounce of ability from his body. Breaks down well standing over tackle, slides off blocks, and immediately alters his angle of attack. Quick, explosive, and very sudden. Rarely off his feet, fast up the field, and can bend off the edge. Diagnoses plays and gets out into space to chase the action. Plays with balance as well as body control, plays faster than his 40 time, and is effective in pursuit. Relentless and goes hard.
Negatives: Lacks true pursuit speed. Tested poorly at the Combine. Gets caught up in the trash or easily blocked from the action.
Analysis: Enagbare is a hard-charging defender who lacks the size for defensive end and the speed for outside linebacker. He’s a solid technician with a relentless style who can be a situational pass rusher on Sundays standing over tackle or coming out of a three-point stance.