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NAME: Arnold Ebiketie
POSITION: Defensive End
SCHOOL: Penn State
WEIGHT: 250 pounds
Born in Yaoundé, Cameroon in Africa, Arnold Ebiketie eventually moved to the United States and settled in his hometown of Silver Spring, Maryland. He originally attended Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland. Before the start of his sophomore season, he transferred to Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, Maryland. His senior season was highly productive. Overall, Ebiketie recorded 36 tackles for loss and 21.5 sacks on defense. He would go on to earn 2016 Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors and first-team All-Sentinel honors.
Originally committing to Temple University, Ebiketie was part of the Owls’ program for four years from 2017-20. He took a redshirt in 2017 and appeared in just one game in 2018. In 2019, Ebiketie appeared in 12 games and registered two sacks and two quarterback hurries. 2020 was his most impactful season while at Temple. Ebiketie led the Owls defense in tackles for loss (8.5), sacks (four) and forced fumbles (three). Finally, he was named second team All-AAC for his 2020 campaign.
Transfer To Penn State
After transferring to Penn State for 2021, Ebiketie acclimated quickly and became a starter for the Nittany Lions defense. He appeared in all 12 games. Furthermore, his production was much more fruitful than any season that he had previously had with Temple. Ebiketie finished with 62 tackles (34 solo), 18 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, seven quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, two blocked kicks and one pass breakup.
For his 2021 efforts, Ebiketie earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. He was also named as a second team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America. After the season, Ebiketie participated in the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Instead of listing positives and negatives for traits, this year we will be listing the best trait of each prospect and work our way down to the biggest area of improvement/absent trait(s), from top to bottom.
The ankle flexion of this defender is quite impressive. That is especially true, when you consider his dense upper half and lean or tilt that he displays when rushing the passer. Ebiketie can bend around the edge in a couple of different ways. First off, he is rather nifty when needing to become compact and slice below the shoulders and pads of opposing blockers. Ebiketie is also able to increase his acceleration when turning the corner. That is also the case when he crashes into the quarterback’s pocket with force.
Ebiketie is gifted with tremendous length. When he gets his arms fully extended, the pass rusher is able to create extra space and separation for himself. There may still be some inconsistencies when it comes to those results, however. Ebiketie can exude an astounding amount of power at the point of attack as well. With that, he can throw opposing blockers off balance. Or, the power will allow Ebiketie to readjust and reset, while still having the opportunity to long-arm and stiff opponents.
First Step Explosiveness
There are certainly variabilities when it comes to his first step explosiveness. Ebiketie is more consistent with firing off of the snap when being used as a stand-up pass rusher. When he has his hand or both hands in the dirt, he is a bit late in getting out of the blocks. The quickness is still highly impressive, nevertheless. Ebiketie can cover ample amounts of ground at a rapid rate with short area burst. Do not discount his long speed and ability to run down opponents from behind either. Elsewhere, Ebiketie is incredibly explosive for his size. It is just that his first step is not elite or extremely consistent.
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Once again, it is the lateral quickness where Ebiketie stands out. He is simply relentless when traveling laterally across the line of scrimmage. The same thing could be said when he is having to use his motor and chase in space or on backside pursuit. On top of that, Ebiketie is seemingly smooth when having to rush the passer on stunts or twists upfront. He also appears to be rather confident and comfortable when having to cross an opponent’s face and crash towards the interior of the offensive line.
There are some improvements that Ebiketie displayed throughout this most recent season. Specifically, when it came to recognizing play direction and reading blocks, he felt more secure. Ebiketie was sparingly asked to drop into coverage and sit up on the edge. With that, he showed quicker reactions and was able to maintain adequate body positioning and landmarks. Ebiketie can stand to add more patience from time to time, as he will often lose body control and make rushed decisions. That showed up more often in one-on-one battles.
Ebiketie has lined up both in a two-point stance and in a three-point stance. As mentioned earlier, he is obviously more explosive when getting out of a two-point stance. Ebiketie seems to come out of his stance too high when starting with a three-point stance. On the other hand, he has occasionally reduced down inside on the defensive line as well. The comfort that he has with stunts and twists allows him more options to play with as a pass rusher, to boot.
Ebiketie is largely used to utilizing dip, rip and swipe moves. The speed, bend and burst is where he truly wins one-on-one situations. Yet, those inside hand moves allow him to throw opponents to the side instantly. Ebiketie is not very refined with continually getting his arms extended, overall. There are also questions surrounding his use of power. Being able to convert that more efficiently is a work in progress for Ebiketie as he makes the transition to the NFL level.
Mainly, his reactions and reads have been much more enhanced. There are questions about how firmly he can set the edge, however. Block deconstruction is largely uninspiring from this player too. For example, Ebiketie is late to fire his hands at the point of attack. Moreover, he gets driven back and turned far too easily when blockers are looking to attack him in space.
Arnold Ebiketie is a pass rusher who we selected in this week’s 2022 FPC Chiefs Mock Draft: 3.0. To read the full mock draft, click here. There is likely no denying that he is still raw as a pass rusher. But, his top traits are something that the Kansas City Chiefs have been dearly missing defensively for quite some time. His speed is extremely tantalizing. Add in the flexibility, bend and length at defensive end, and Ebiketie could infuse dominance into the Kansas City defense. He may only be designated as a pass rush specialist early on throughout his NFL career. Nonetheless, Ebiketie proved he could produce more heavily in that regard at Penn State last season.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs draft prospect profiles throughout this 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.
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