2020 Packers Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Justin Madubuike
Position: Interior Defensive Lineman
School: Texas A&M
Weight: 304 pounds
Justin Madubuike has an explosive first step and respectable lateral quickness that helps make him effective in gap penetration. The lack of elite length is countered by his strong hand usage that he uses to force offensive lineman off-balance. Madubuike is nimble enough to change course more quickly than the offensive lineman that’s trying to block him more often than not. Surprisingly good bend for an interior rusher. His athleticism gives him the versatility to play a variety of positions along the defensive line.
Notable strength on tape, when he’s fully dialed in it was nearly impossible to keep him out of the backfield. Hands are strong and his base is well-built. Possesses a strong enough anchor to rarely get erased from running plays at the collegiate level. Put up 31 reps on the bench press at the Combine, putting him in the 84th percentile for his position, another indication of the power he displayed on tape.
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Madubuike shines brightest when given a gap penetration role because of how he combines his mobility, power, and refined technique. His footwork is terrific and, when paired with his consistently good hand counters, makes him very difficult to suppress. Used a variety of pass rush counters in college, which will make his transition to the NFL smoother. His mobility and explosiveness make him a great tackler despite his lack of an elite tackle radius. Very rarely out of position, allowing him to wrap up ball-carriers rather than swiping at their legs.
Madubuike projects best as a penetration role in the NFL. That isn’t to say he couldn’t be a sufficient read-and-react or block-stacking lineman, but his strengths are maximized when he’s let loose to blow plays up in the backfield. The main knock on Madubuike in college was his effort was inconsistent. With proper NFL coaching and defensive line rotations, that can be eliminated from his game.
Why Madubuike for the Packers?
Justin Madubuike projects as a penetrating 3-technique in the NFL, which would make him a fantastic pairing alongside Kenny Clark. His ability to make plays in the backfield would elevate the Packers’ pass rush to an even more dynamic level. Madubuike could help turn a higher percentage of opponents’ rushing attempts into negative yards. He is already a polished product, which makes him a great plug-and-play candidate. Furthermore, outside of retaining an ERFA, Green Bay didn’t address the interior defensive line in free agency (at least as of the publishing of this article). That would make Madubuike even more valuable to this team.
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