After running a 4.49 40-yard dash at 6 feet 5 inches and 258 pounds, Albert Okwuegbunam sat out the remaining Combine drills, confident in the size/speed combo he'd shown. That is certainly the type of time that could boost him a couple of rounds in the draft, and if a team is willing to invest significant capital in him, there's plenty of Fantasy upside here.
Numbers to Know
Date of Birth: April 25, 1998
Height: 6 feet 5 inches
Weight: 258 pounds
Hand: 10.3 inches
Arm: 34.1 inches
40 time: 4.49 seconds
2019: 9 games, 26 receptions, 306 receiving yards (14% share), 6 TD
Okwuegbunam's final year as a redshirt junior at Missouri saw him struggle through injuries and post career lows in receptions and yards, while tying his low with six touchdowns. Some of that may have been due to Drew Lock heading to the NFL after 2018.
2018: 9 games, 43 receptions, 466 receiving yards (18% share), 6 TD
Okwuegbunam had his best yardage season as a redshirt sophomore, but didn't crest a 20% receiving yardage share.
Career: 27 games, 98 receptions, 1187 receiving yards (15% share), 23 TD
Okwuegbunam played nine games in each of his three collegiate seasons, and it's not clear how much injuries may have limited his receiving yardage potential. What's more clear is his red zone upside — he scored on 23% of his career receptions, an absurd figure, notching 23 career touchdowns in 27 games.
Known Injury History
- Shoulder, November 2019 (missed one game)
- Knee, October 2019 (missed one game)
- Shoulder, November 2018 (ended season)
Okwuegbunam's biggest strength is his size/speed combo, as he's an imposing tight end with a 99th percentile speed score when compared to historical figures for other prospects at the position.
Statistically, his ability to generate touchdowns both in the red zone and while attacking the seam is a major plus for potential Fantasy upside in the future, as is the fact that he was productive early in his college career with 11 touchdowns in his redshirt freshman season.
Basically everything else a tight end is expected to do has been cited as a concern for Okwuegbunam. He's been criticized for his run blocking, hands and a perceived lack of agility that makes him more of a straight line size/speed player than a dynamic one.
Ryan Wilson's Take
No. 7 TE
Albert Okwuegbunam might have been better served coming out after the 2018 season. He had 43 receptions for 466 yards (10.8 YPC) and six touchdowns with Drew Lock as his quarterback. Last season, with Kelly Bryant, Okwuegbunam's numbers were 26 catches, 306 yards (11.8 YPC) and six touchdowns. He also had seven drops, which works out to a drop rate of 18.4 percent. At 6-5, 255 pounds, Okwuegbunam lines up inline, in the slot and at H-back, and shows the ability to be a consistent blocker. We'd like to see a little more urgency in his routes, and while he's not particularly explosive or quick, he has the strength to win at the catch point.
You're hoping for Jimmy Graham or Eric Ebron touchdown upside with Okwuegbunam, but those are lofty goals and both profiled as better athletes. You'd take Martellus Bennett upside. But if Okwuegbunam needs time to develop, Vance McDonald might be a more realistic upside comp, and even that could be lofty if no team is willing to commit a pick before the fourth or fifth round on him.
Favorite Fantasy Fits
Okwuegbunam's touchdown production in college makes me think his best bet for immediate production might be to slot in behind the 33-year-old Jared Cook in New Orleans. There are places with more available tight end targets, but by way of example, it's not clear Okwuegbunam would see significant action ahead of C.J. Uzomah — another size/speed guy — in Cincinnati.
Fantasy Bottom Line
Okwuegbunam has the physical traits to be a problem even for NFL defenses, but he didn't post consistently gaudy yardage numbers at the NFL level. Combined with inconsistencies in other parts of his game but elite touchdown production, there's plenty of reason to bet on his future upside but also reason to be wary. He's frequently projected to go among the later-round picks in the NFL Draft, but if a team is willing to invest significant capital in his athleticism, that will be a great sign for his future Fantasy potential.
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