Carolina Panthers 2019 Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Chuma Edoga
Position: Right Tackle
Weight: 315 pounds
Chuma Edoga, a Pac-12 second-team all-conference right tackle, might command some attention during the second day of the 2019 NFL draft. Edoga had a remarkable performance in the latter half of his college career, which included a mere six pressures and three sacks (PFF.com) in a total of twenty-two games (usctrojans.com). However, Edoga might be overlooked in the first two rounds after a lackluster showing at the combine. Edoga also faced disciplinary action, including a first quarter ejection and a one game suspension, for throwing a punch and shoving a referee during a regular season game of his sophomore year (espn.com). The twenty-one-year-old has since admitted embarrassment for his mistake and the mastery of his craft as an offensive tackle has been on a positive trend, making him a prudent selection for any team looking to fill that position.
Weighing in at three hundred and fifteen pounds puts Edoga right around the fiftieth percentile for starting tackles in the NFL (google). His arm length of thirty-four and three quarter inches (nfl.com) naturally gives him a higher ceiling as a pass and run blocker than he may have been credited for. Standing proudly at six feet and three inches, he’ll be looking up at most opposing defensive ends, but that’ll work in his favor as he leverages the underside of their shoulder pads.
Physical Strength and Speed
Edoga clocked an above average 5.19-second forty-yard dash and an unimpressive twenty-one-repetition bench press (nfl.com). These numbers may indicate that Edoga will have to rely more on his speed than his strength to start his professional career. He furthered this idea after a display of swift footwork during the cone drills and hesitant blocking during the bag drills.
Pass and Run Blocking Ability
Edoga has been misnomered as a poor pass defender, mainly due to a lack of upper body strength that results in a failure to match the force of incoming defensive linemen. However, his college tape reveals a quick fire into a patient and solid stance that stays balanced after the initial contact is made. Most defensive ends will try to out maneuver Edoga to no avail. His mirroring technique and long arms provide a wide array of angles he can block from.
In terms of run protection, Edoga has been pegged for his proficiency in being able to pull defenders to the outside and fire to make blocks downfield. His primary drawbacks are the completion of his assignment and occasionally taking plays off.
Fit with the Panthers
The motto of the Panthers’ 2019 offseason has been to address glaring issues the Panthers had in 2018. The Panthers aim to fix their issues by being “selectively aggressive” as stated by team owner Dave Tepper, and by getting “younger and faster” as stated by head coach Ron Rivera. One of the biggest issues the Panthers had in 2018 was the lack of serviceable offensive tackle depth. This proved to be a fatal flaw in both the pass and run game, particularly during the last eight games. The Panthers currently have four offensive tackles signed to their roster, two of whom have starting experience with the Panthers. The Panthers need backup offensive tackles that can fit in seamlessly at either side.
Edoga’s main bargaining chips will be his ability to put on weight while maintaining his swiftness and his ability to plug in at left and right tackle. Despite starting at right tackle for the latter half of his career with the Trojans, Edoga demonstrated his proficiency at left tackle. He served as a backup to both sides during his sophomore year (USCTrojans.com). More recently he had a spectacular performance at left tackle for the Reese’s Bowl that earned him the “Overall Player of the Week” award (247sports.com). In addition, he managed to gain seven pounds during the nineteen-day span between the OL combine day and the USC pro day (conquestchronicles.com). As long as Edoga continues to grow and develop as a mature, strong, and flexible offensive tackle the Panthers’ brass will certainly make a case for him in the 2019 NFL draft.