My take: Wide receiver isn't necessarily a position of need for the Dolphins, but you can never have too many. Ezukanma is a bigger receiver with enough speed to satisfy head coach Mike McDaniel. Special teams will be his fastest path to contribution as he refines his route tree and solves his issue of "focus drops." But if he has a strong camp and Preston Williams fails to impress, Ezukanma can leap into the rotation as a short-yardage receiver.
The 6-foot-2 wide receiver played a significant role in Texas Tech’s offense each of the past three seasons and steadily improved. His quality of play wasn’t quite good enough to land on PFF's big board. His experience has almost entirely been as an outside wide receiver, which is fine considering the majority of the Dolphins' wide receivers have significant experience in the slot. Ezukanma joins a crowded wide receiver room in Miami, as the team has added Tyreek Hill, Cedrick Wilson and Trent Sherfield this offseason to go along with Jaylen Waddle, Lynn Bowden Jr. and Preston Williams. It’s unlikely Ezukanma carves out a role in the offense this season. It’s likely one or more of the wide receivers mentioned will not make it to Week 1.
After redshirting in 2018, Ezukanma (6'2/209) averaged over 700 receiving yards with 16 total touchdowns over his final three seasons at Tech including a 10-138-2 line as a rusher last year. Ezukanma ran a 4.54 forty at his Pro Day and matched his Combine vertical of 36.5 inches. He does not have the route running skills to be a consistent separator underneath and is not a burner, but he offers a big frame, good ball skills, and YAC ability that could allow him to carve out a role on the outside. Ezukanma will likely focus on special teams as a rookie with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedrick Wilson locked into three-wide sets followed by Preston Williams.
Good sized WR with flashes of YAC brilliance. Quality speed and tracks it well downfield. Not a route runner who'll separate with great regularity at the next level. Value feels right. Crowded WR room but more weapons for Tua is a good thing.
It feels like the one thing the Dolphins didn't need was a receiver, so why spend a pick on one with so few selections. Erik Ezukanma is an intruging receiver with nice size, but where does he fit into the roster? Grade: C
Ezukanma has enough speed to threaten vertically and the body control to make back-shoulder catches. He does a good job of getting inside leverage on slants and using his frame to shield defenders from the ball. Ezukanma is a big target who flashes the ability to make tough, contested catches, but he's not a natural hands catcher and drops balls he should catch. -- Steve Muench
Ezukanma (pronounced ez-zoo-comma) signed with Tech's high-flying offense after earning MaxPreps Junior All-American status in 2017 with 20 receiving touchdowns at Timber Creek High School in Fort Worth. After he redshirted in 2018 (2-48-24.0 in two games), Ezukanma led the Red Raiders with 664 receiving yards (42 receptions, 15.8 per catch), starting six of 12 games played. The following year, he was the first Tech receiver to be named first-team All-Big 12 (led team with 46-748-16.3, six TDs) since Michael Crabtree in 2008. Ezukanma broke his arm during 2021 spring practices but returned to garner second-team all-conference accolades and lead the Red Raiders in receiving (48-706-14.7, four TDs; also 10-138-13.8, two TDs rushing). -- by Chad Reuter
Draft Projection - Round 4
NFL Comparison - Donte Moncrief
Productive three-year starter with desired combination of size and foot quickness. Ezukanma has enough speed to get down the field and challenge coverage while displaying an innate sense for protecting and finishing contested catches underneath. The route tree has been limited by scheme, but he's not as polished with the routes he runs as he should be for his experience level. Size, ball skills and toughness work in his favor as a quality backup with some upside.
Big target and team captain.
Led his team in receiving in all three seasons.
Ability to widen release to avoid press punch.
Foot quickness to snap off slants and hitches.
Burst to pass and stack the cornerback downfield.
Squares to throw and shifts body to protect the catch.
High points catch with full extension and strong hands.
Bodies up defenders during contested catches.
Quick to grab it and go underneath.
Routes lack expected polish of a three-year starter.
Needs to sell the drive phase of his route.
Too upright into intermediate break points.
Needs to play with better speed variance.
Inconsistent route adjustments to traffic.
Can be top-heavy rolling and drifting through route turns.
Easy catches can turn into focus drops.
Sources Tell Us
"He was a little beat up at the end of the season and he lost his starting quarterback so that helps explain how he dropped off." -- Scout for NFC team
Bigger bodied wideout with flashes of outstanding yards-after-the-catch and downfield, difficult-grab ability. Balance and moments of power after the catch. Three years of similar big-play production in college.
More of a ball-tracking type than a leaper who'll rebound the football deep. Wasn't asked to run a variety of routes in college and not going to be a big-time separator at the NFL level although not totally stiff. Needs to get more physical at the line and during his routes.
2021: All-Big 12 second team
16 scrimmage TDs past three seasons (T-most among Big 12 WRs)
The wide receiver position, in particular, draws in more detail in evaluation. There isn’t just game tape to consider. There’s recruiting prestige, there’s level of competition, there’s production, age-adjusted production, and age. A bevy of cosmetic factors mix in with the tried-and-true traits evaluation. These factors do matter. But at the same time, they sometimes draw eyes away from prospects whose film warrants more attention.
Why is this relevant for Ezukanma? The Texas Tech WR never broke 50 catches or 750 yards in a season. He doesn’t have the elite production profile that so many flock to at the top of the WR board. But on the tape, one could argue Ezukanma has just as much talent. In my opinion, he’s very much a worthy early-round prospect, even if he doesn’t go quite that high.
Ezukanma has a stellar size/length/athleticism combination. With his traits, he can truly be a three-level threat at the next level. Ezukanma’s size is what stands out first. At 6’2″, 209 pounds, the Texas Tech WR has great range and density. He also has elite length, with arms that measured 33.5″ at the Combine.
Beyond his size, Ezukanma is an impressive athlete, and by extension, a tremendous run-after-catch threat. The Texas Tech WR has great lateral agility and elusiveness for his size. Furthermore, he owns superb explosiveness both off the line and in open space. Ezukanma has the burst to create and elongate space after the catch. He also has enough deep speed to stack defensive backs.
Going further with Ezukanma’s run-after-catch ability, one has to mention what might be one of his best traits — contact balance. Ezukanma has arguably elite contact balance for a receiver. His legs are always churning, and he can bounce off contact with his dense, well-balanced frame. He can swim through congestion, slip away from arm tackles, and his contact balance combined with his elusiveness makes for a dangerous mix.
NFL Draft Scouting Report Overview
Ezukanma is a rare receiver with incredibly dynamic potential. He’s 6’2″, 209 pounds, with elite length and contact balance, great explosiveness and elusiveness, great hands, and impressive authoritative traits at the catch point. He’s a big receiver, but he plays even bigger in several phases.
Moreover, while Ezukanma has room to refine his route running, he shows potential there. The Texas Tech WR flashes fast feet, smooth hip sinks, and amped-up lower body movements ahead of his breaks. There are deep comebacks on tape where Ezukanma decelerates quickly, chops his feet, and sinks his hips well for his size. If he can be more consistent there, he could complete his NFL Draft scouting report.
Ezukanma seems like a mid-round pick off of buzz, but I would take him much earlier. He’s arguably a top-five WR for me in this class. In the NFL today, receivers don’t necessarily need to be elite route runners. A larger emphasis is being placed on coaches simply scheming playmakers open and getting them the ball. Ezukanma is electric with the ball in his hands and in the air. That voracity as a playmaker in all three ranges, combined with his elite physical makeup, grants him an astronomical ceiling.
Tony Pauline's Scouting Report
Positives: Large possession receiver with reliable hands. Plays big football, uses his frame to shield away defenders, and takes a pounding yet holds onto the throw. Gets vertical, extends his hands, and snatches the ball out of the air. Adjusts to errant throws and comes away with difficult receptions. Displays solid short-area quickness and works routes.
Negatives: Possesses a limited route tree and really isn’t quick in or out of breaks. Gets upright entering routes. Takes his eyes off the ball, which leads to drops. Lacks deep speed.
Analysis: Ezukanma was a consistent three-year starter for Texas Tech and was the go-to receiver in the offense. He possesses nice size and reliable hands, but he has average speed. Ezukanma has enough ability to line up as a fourth receiver in a timing offense.