Arnold Ebiketie Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Fast speed rusher
Burst off ball
Explosive, hard-charging defender off the edge
Speed to run the arc and get around the corner
Uses hands and feet at same time
Speed-to-power rush ability
Excellent rip move
Can fire to the inside
Has a burst to close on the quarterback
Can dip underneath tackles
Agile; not stiff
Versatile for 3-4 or 4-3 defense
Lacks height, length & weight
Can get covered up as a run defender
Summary: In recent years, Penn State has produced a lot of freaky athletes with serious speed and excellent skill sets. Ebiketie will continue that tradition in the 2022 NFL Draft after breaking out in 2021. He was the Nittany Lions' lead rusher, replacing Jayson Oweh, and totaled 9.5 sacks, 62 tackles and two forced fumbles. In 2020, Ebiketie recorded 42 tackles, four sacks and three forced fumbles.
Ebiketie has the speed and strength to be a challenge for offensive tackles at the next level. As a pass rusher, Ebiketie can burn offensive tackles with a speed rush and also is strong enough to fight them off with his hands. Beyond his quick first-step to get upfield, Ebiketie uses his hands and feet at the same time nicely and has the agility to redirect to the inside or sink his hips while running the loop on the outside. Ebiketie shows an excellent rip move with natural leverage. After staying low and maintaining good leverage while charging upfield, Ebiketie rips with his inside arm to keep tackles from getting a hold of him to finish off his rush. Ebiketie is also dangerous working to the inside, and he has excellent closing speed to eat up space in blur. As a pro, Ebiketie has the potential to be a very good pass rusher.
Ebiketie could stand to improve as a run defender, because he can get covered up sometimes by offensive tackles. That is not surprising considering his lack of height, length and weight. He could get rotated out a fair amount in running situations at the next level.
For the NFL, Ebiketie's best fit could come as a 3-4 outside linebacker, although he has the potential to play as a 4-3 defensive end. In a 4-3, it might make sense to rotate him a fair amount because NFL offensive tackles will have a 50-70-pound advantage that could wear him out. Rotating Ebiketie would help keep him fresh as a pass rusher and available to make an impact in the fourth quarter.
Ebiketie looks safely like a second-day pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but it isn't out of the question that a team would consider selecting him late in Round 1.
Player Comparison: Yannick Ngakoue. Team sources have compared Ebiketie to Ngakoue, which is a comparison that makes a lot of sense. They are both dangerous speed rushers who are undersized and can get covered up in the ground game. Ngakoue was a second-day pick, and Ebiketie could go on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft.