2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Justin Madubuike

  • Justin Madubuike, 6-3/293

  • Defensive Tackle

  • Texas A&M

  • Justin Madubuike Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Big, strong, boxy build
  • Quick first-step
  • Fast at the point of attack
  • Twitchy
  • Can physically dominate offensive linemen
  • Plays with a mean streak at times
  • Intimidating presence
  • Quick at the point of attack
  • Effective interior pass-rusher
  • Explosive
  • Splash plays
  • Extremely disruptive
  • Natural pad level
  • Skilled at shedding blocks
  • Good pursuit run-defender
  • Instinctive
  • Upside; could get better with experience

  • Weaknesses:
  • Off-the-field issues
  • Inconsistent
  • Disappears at times during games
  • Less effective when he moves toward the edge
  • At times can get overwhelmed with real mass

  • Summary: Madubuike decided to skip his senior year and enter the 2020 NFL Draft after an impressive junior season in which he recorded 5.5 sacks, 45 tackles and 11.5 tackles for a loss. After Derrick Brown, Madubuike was best interior defensive lineman in the SEC, as he was dominant in some games during the 2019 season. He put together some phenomenal tapes, like his performance against Ole Miss, but was even more impressive when he had his way with the elite Georgia offensive line that featured five potential NFL starters and future early-round picks. If it weren’t for off-the-field issues, Madubuike might be a rock-solid first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

    There is a lot to like about Madubuike on tape, and there are very few weakness in his game. He has an excellent skill set, as he is quick lineman with twitchy athleticism. On top of his speed, Madubuike is big and strong with boxy build that makes it difficult for offensive linemen to sustain blocks against him. Madubuike can use his quickness to fire by guards and get penetration upfield while also being able to power through them with violence.

    Madubuike’s strength and boxy build make him tough to move in the ground game. He can be a stout run defender who holds his gap and also is able to shed blocks to make tackles outside of his gap. He is a well-rounded defender who is effective in both phases.

    When Madubuike turns it on, he can be amazing and completely dominate a game. However, Madubuike is inconsistent from week-to-week and even quarter-to-quarter. He can disappear for stretches and then become a monster, so the inconsistency is questionable. On the field, one of the few things that Madubuike needs to work on is not getting overwhelmed by mass.

    If Madubuike can clear up off-the-field issues and focus on football, he could be an excellent NFL defensive lineman because he has the skill set of a top interior player. Team sources say Madubuike’s physical talent is very similar to that of Ed Oliver, who was a top-10 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The off-the-field issues will probably sink Madubuike to the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, but if he stays out of trouble, he could be a steal.

    Player Comparison: Kawann Short. Madubuike reminds me of Short as they both have speed, strength, and twitchy athleticism. Some team sources compared Madubuike to Ed Oliver, which might be a better comparison.


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