2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Albert Okwuegbunam

  • Albert Okwuegbunam, 6-5/258

  • Tight End

  • Missouri

  • Albert Okwuegbunam Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Dangerous receiving mismatch
  • Fast for a big tight end
  • Good height, length and weight
  • Dangerous down the seam
  • High points the ball well
  • Speed to separate
  • Dangerous on contested catches
  • Red-zone weapon
  • Solid hands
  • Size mismatch versus safeties
  • Speed mismatch versus linebackers and some safeties
  • Big frame

  • Weaknesses:
  • Bad blocker
  • Doesn’t display an attitude and willingness to block
  • Football character
  • Significant make-up concerns

  • Summary: Since getting on the field at Missouri, Okwuegbunam was one of the most dangerous and productive receiving tight ends in college football while taking on the best competition in the nation. As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Okwuegbunam was a dangerous red-zone weapon, hauling in 11 touchdowns from Drew Lock. Missouri opened up its offense with Lock in the back half of that season, using Okwuegbunam as one of its steady receiving threats. The redshirt freshman hauled in 29 receptions for 415 yards on the year. In 2018, he had 43 receptions for 466 yards with six touchdowns before missing the final four games with a shoulder injury.

    In 2019, Okwuegbunam caught 26 passes for 306 yards and six touchdowns. He was hurt by not having Lock at quarterback, and Missouri’s passing game really struggled in general. After the season, Okwuegbunam had an excellent combine that saw him run a shockingly fast 4.49-second time in the 40-yard dash. He was expected to run well, but not that fast.

    Okwuegbunam is a dynamic receiveing tight end. He has the speed to get down the seam, and his size lets him wall off defenders or make catches over them when they are able to keep him from getting separation. Thus, Okwuegbunam is very difficult to cover, as safeties will struggle with his size while linebackers will have a hard time running with him. Okwuegbunam runs quality routes and is adept at finding the soft spot in zone coverage. He tracks the ball well and shows impressive hands to snatch passes out of the air. With soft hands, Okwuegbunam does not have to body catch and is very calm to make receptions with defenders closing in on him.

    The big hurdle for Okwuegbunam to becoming a three-down starter in the NFL is his lack of blocking skill. He is not a good blocker and needs to improve his ability. Okwuegbunam has the size to do it, and even if he blocks with a feistier attitude, that would help him to improve his blocking. Not having the desire to block could be one of those issues holding him back. Team sources actually felt Okwuegbunam was a worse blocker in 2019 than he was in 2018.

    Entering the 2020 NFL Draft, Okwuegbunam is considered to be a mid-round pick. Bad blocking receiving tight ends like Mike Gesicki have gone higher in years past, and the reason Okwuegbunam is expected to slide is because of off-the-field issues. Teams question his maturity and football character. Hence, Okwuegbunam will go lower than where his talent level says he should go.

    Player Comparison: Jimmy Graham. Okwuegbunam reminds me of Jimmy Graham (6-7, 265). Both are tall receiving tight ends with elite speed and athleticism to work the middle seam. They are dangerous to make catches over defenders and are real mismatches in the passing game. They also are bad blockers. Graham was a late third-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, and Okwuegbunam could be a late third-round or fourth-round pick in 2020.


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