Uzoma Nwachukwu Scouting Report

February 12th, 2013

Deep speed is no issue for Uzoma Nwachukwu, seen here toasting Damontre Hurst

QB / RB / FB / WR / TE / OT / OG / OC / DT / DE / OLB / ILB / CB / SAF
Prospect: Uzoma Nwachukwu, WR, Texas A&M
Height: 5’11.5”
Weight:198 lbs
Grade: 6.32 (Grading Scale)

Scouting Report:

Athleticism:
+Has excellent field-stretching speed, should time in the low 4.4s
+Decent thickness and musculature, lean but strong
-Lacks great height and leaping ability
-Shows tightness in hips and ankles

Route Running:
+Has good burst off line and fast feet
+Has a good understanding of how to flow with a mobile/improvisational QB. Actually two very different ones in Tannehill and Manziel
+Modified his initial stance in ’12, gets into a deep crouch that allows him to break more quickly
-Gears down to make sharp cuts, and his process of gearing down with his arms and shoulders is obvious
-Little route variety, never asked to make double moves or more complex reads

Hands:
+Has big hands for his height
+Can track the deep ball over either shoulder
-Often fails to look the ball into his hands
-Double catches and traps the ball to his pads a lot more than necessary
-Doesn’t always accurately judge the pace of the ball and distance from his body

Running/Return Ability:
+Quickly gets to speed and can run away from defenders in close proximity
-Not much experience, just four kick returns in his four years
-Very little open field creativity, simply tries to outsprint defenders

Intelligence/Intangibles:
+Has experience playing with mobile and improvisational QBs and adjusting routes to their scrambling
+Shows excellent effort as a perimeter and downfield blocker
+No off-field issues or character flags

Overall: Uzoma Nwachukwu comes off a very interesting career arc at Texas A&M. He was an instant hit with his downfield speed, which fit very well with QB Jerrod Johnson. He caught three TD passes–all thrown over 25 yards in the air–in his second college game. When the Aggies moves to Ryan Tannehill, Nwachukwu saw less deep action but improved his all-around game as he learned to run more intermediate routes and block. His senior season saw a major decline in productivity while playing with Johnny Manziel, who shied away from the deep ball and looked to run even more than Tannehill.

As a result, Nwachuckwu is more underexposed and undervalued than he deserves. He possesses viable field-stretching speed and a proven experience at getting open with a scrambling quarterback. His hands are not great but have progressed; he caught everything thrown his way during Texas vs. the Nation week. I consider him one of the biggest Combine snubs, but that shows where NFL evaluators feel he is. Nwachukwu is a player who can definitely contribute at the next level with his speed and ability to flow open, but his hands and concentration must be more consistent. I would like to see him go to a team with a creative, running-threat QB like Carolina or Seattle or even a reunion with Tannehill in Miami. He deserves to come off in the 4th or 5th round but could slide to the final round. It will be interesting to see if he gets drafted before HS teammate Dan Buckner, a very different kind of wideout.–Jeff Risdon

Scouting Notes

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
-makes an excellent seal block on long Manziel scramble
-blows past safety who is late in outside help, but Manziel inexplicably pulls the ball down
-is open on end zone post, then follows Manziel back outside and gets open but Manziel barely shorts him on the throw
-uncovered at line but Manziel doesn’t see him despite his flailing
-used primarily as deep decoy to clear space for Ryan Swope and other receivers or for Manziel to run

Texas A&M vs. Florida
-sidesteps corner playing outside technique, breaks across middle with good burst
-throws good downfield block
-gets wide open behind defense, catching Matt Elam flat footed, but Manziel doesn’t see him
-cannot make difficult catch on poorly thrown ball to sideline

Texas A&M vs. Iowa State (2011)
-lined up as X receiver, runs crisp 10-yard stop route and makes catch by trapping ball to shoulder pads
-takes extra step to make inside cut on bubble screen
-gears down to make out cut, delay allows coverage to react and take away route
-finds hole in deep middle of zone but ball gets tipped out of his reach
-flowed with Tannehill across the field as he scrambled, created space but ball was thrown away
-double catches an easy throw

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