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Marino | Wake Forest DE Duke Ejiofor is among ACC’s top pass rushers

OCT 15 Wake Forest at Florida State
Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Marino | Wake Forest DE Duke Ejiofor is among ACC’s top pass rushers

Wake Forest defensive end Duke Ejiofor enjoyed a breakout junior season where he tallied 50 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. Ejiofor joins Boston College defensive end Harold Landry and North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb as the only three returning players in the ACC to have double-digit sacks in 2016.

All of these clips are brought to you by Krossover, NDT Scouting’s film partner for the 2018 NFL Draft season.

Ejiofor is one of the 99 seniors that Jon Ledyard, Kyle Crabbs and I are showcasing this summer as part of our NDT Scouting Premium services.

His full assessment is available but as with all of our works at NDT Scouting, we hope to continue to be transparent in our process.

Let’s examine what specific traits indicate how Ejiofor wins as a pass rusher. The following clips/scouting notes highlight those areas.

Check out the depth Ejiofor gains with his first three steps in this rep. The amount of ground he covers forces the offensive tackle to open his hips to try to take away the corner from Ejiofor. A rip move coupled with the functional strength to press the angle up underneath the blocker enables him to finish. Notice the wingspan on the finish; Ejiofor has a massive tackle radius.

Have a look at the gorgeous stutter step/hesitation move on this rep. Ejiofor’s motion forces the offensive tackles feet to deaden and once that happens he commits to the outside rush, clears the blockers punch with a hand swipe to soften the rush angle and finish. Notice how Ejiofor dictates the rep and forces the blocker to be reactive. He’s toying with him and winning the chess match.

Who doesn’t love a good spin move? While this particular move takes too long to come into fruition, there is likable elements to it. Once he commits to the move, the spin in and of itself is quick. Ejiofor does enough to sell the outside rush and forces the offensive tackle to commit to protecting the outside edge. My favorite part of this spin move is that when he commits back inside, Ejiofor uses his arm/elbow to knock the tackle even more off-balance to provide a clear lane to finish.

Ejiofor always mixes up his rush by attacking both inside and outside. Because he is effective in either direction, tackles know they must protect around the edge as well as the b-gap. Ejiofor takes a hard initial outside rush but then perfectly times a powerful club move to knock the blocker off-balance and create inside rush lane. Ejiofor is a powerful man.

Working tempo is something we use to describe route-runners but here it shows up in Ejiofor’s edge rush. Again, because he is so effective rushing both inside and outside gaps, the offensive tackle must be ready for anything. Therefore, working tempo in a pass rushing situation is actually effective. While Ejiofor often wins with power, he turns to finesse to win on this rep. The move to widen his rush on this rep creates the perfect angle for him to execute a rip move and create the sack.

Let’s close with another rep that accentuates Ejiofor’s bread and butter which is utilizing his hands to free his pads and powering through contact. On this play, Ejiofor clears the offensive guards hands before working through the tackles attempt at bouncing him off track. And how about that finish?

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Joe Marino

Marino began his career as the Assistant Editor for USA Today Digital Properties Draft Sites Network in 2011. A member of the FWAA, Marino writes about the NFL, College Football and NFL Draft for FanRag Sports.

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