NAME: Victor Dimukeje
POSITION: Defensive End
WEIGHT: 265 pounds
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Ben Cleveland
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Nico Collins
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Aaron Robinson
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Brady Christensen
- 2021 Chiefs Draft Prospect: Payton Turner
Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, Victor Dimukeje attended Boys’ Latin School for high school football. He racked up 42 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and two fumble recoveries in his junior season there. Dimukeje also earned All-Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference honors that campaign. To follow that up, the defender recorded 72 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in his senior high school season. Dimukeje was selected to play for Team Baltimore in the Crab Bowl following the year, and was a 2016 Senior Under Armour ELITE 100 postseason selection. Finally, he earned USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Maryland Football second team honors and Baltimore Sun All-Metro first team honors.
Rivals.com listed Dimukeje as a three-star recruit and the number 36 strongside defensive end in the nation. After choosing to play college football at Duke, he was one of the more reliable defenders for the Blue Devils in recent history. Dimukeje started all 49 games of his college career, while also recording 40+ tackles in each season. Furthermore, he registered 7.5+ tackles for loss each year and totaled 21 sacks across his four seasons. Among his accolades, are first team freshman All-America (2017) and an All-ACC selection (2019, 2020). Additionally, Dimukeje is one of just three defenders in Duke history to start multiple bowl game victories (2017, 2018).
Immediately when watching Dimukeje’s tape, his quickness was evident and flashed off film. He uses a well timed get off from the snap of the football. Along with that, Dimukeje has clean footwork and is able to move sufficiently. His angles taken and burst stress opposing blockers at a rapid pace. The Duke product takes long, wide strides to get after the quarterback or ball carrier. Moreover, Dimukeje has a relentless motor that many coaches will appreciate. This shows up on plays where he cannot quite finish for sacks. Dimukeje is able to use solid lateral angles and force the ball carrier or quarterback to run east/west, while not gaining yards upfield.
Read And React Ability
Two words stand out to me when talking about Dimukeje in this particular area. That would be urgency and smart. With plenty of experience while playing at Duke, he has become more technically sound against the run year after year. Dimukeje always keeps tabs on where the football is going. Rarely, if ever, is he slow to process plays, blocks or fits. There is a lot of potential to work with, given his use of leverage, ability to stack blocks and swift reactions in short areas.
Dimukeje is impressive with how he transfers power into opponents’ chests. This is even more of a plus for him, as this defender transitions from speed to power in a whirlwind. On the other hand, Dimukeje brings about plenty of power in his hands. His punches at the point of attack can surprise blockers. Or, they struggle with how to time up Dimukeje’s counters, so he is able to extend and squeeze fairly well. The counter move he loves to use the most, is a stab. As a result, Dimukeje can work quickly off of a heavy punch. His power and strength allows him to control the line of scrimmage and multiple gaps as well.
If there are plays where Dimukeje struggles to disengage from blocks, it is likely because of his lack of length. Trying to extend his arms fully can be inconsistent. At the same time, he struggles with ripping his arms down to get off of blockers. Longer armed offensive tackles are able to get under his pads or shoulders. Thus, Dimukeje is unable to keep his hands moving or rolling. He stops moving his feet occasionally, on plays like this.
Hand To Hand Combat
That aforementioned stab move is not only his favorite one to use. But, it is really the only one that becomes effective from his full arsenal. Dimukeje does well to use one hand to get inside the opponent’s chest. Then, he has a quick step to get around the edge. However, that ability to bend and dip is hit or miss. Dimukeje has appeared to be working on a bull rush more lately. That is still a work in progress. Overall, he will have to work to string more pass rush counter moves together at the NFL level.
There is some added lateral mobility in Dimukeje’s game. Yet, he is not the most bendy defender. Dimukeje has worked to use longer steps outside of his frame. Often times though, he loses his balance or his angle is tracked immediately. You can see he has tried to work on winning more from lower angles and with some tilt. The results are still looking to improve. Consequently, his hips can become stiff and Dimukeje can grow too high.
A natural fit in a base 4-3 defense, Victor Dimukeje actually offers plenty to work with at defensive end. Kansas City could enjoy using him from different alignments like Duke did. The Chiefs would have the ability to let him work from either a two point stance or a three point stance. There is also multiple options to play with, where Dimukeje can line up from wider alignments or rush from interior gaps. His prowess as a run defender could allow him to see the field early. Subsequently, the speed that Dimukeje brings is exactly what the team has been wanting to add to the defensive unit in 2021.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs draft prospect profiles throughout the rest of the spring. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.