Felix Anudike-Uzomah is Everything Will Anderson Isn’t
One word is going through my mind after watching Kansas State’s Felix Anudike-Uzomah [pronounced ann-you-DEE-kay you-ZAH-mah] on his 2021 and 2022 game film: WOW.
He’s everything Alabama’s edge rusher Will Anderson isn’t on game film.
Anudike-Uzomah, First Round Mock’s 2023 NFL Draft EDGE1.
For two straight seasons over a span of six games evaluated, Anudike-Uzomah was a consistent force to be dealt with. In that time span, he’s logged 19.5 sacks and 86 pressures.
This guy is like a machine
I literally ran out of room in my notes Anudike-Uzomah had so many great pass rushes, who I have affectionately have nicknamed, “The Tasmanian Devil.”
Maybe like the cartoon, “Taz” for short.
Offensive tackles better pack their lunch in the NFL, because he’s a threat to get to the quarterback on every snap.
There’s no quit in this guy. He’s got an engine that doesn’t shut off.
Anudike-Uzomah is extremely, “quarterback minded,” which is a phrase I’ve coined to describe pass rushers, who are obsessed with blowing up the pocket.
Double team city
Anudike-Uzomah drew a lot of double teams, which is a sure-fire sign of what his opponent’s thought of his pass rushing ability and how much respect he demanded.
Even then, there were several examples on game film when he beat the double team and still managed to lasso the quarterback.
Keeping things in perspective
Before we get him fitted for a yellow jacket in Canton, it’s important to point out Anudike-Uzomah is human.
There were reps here and there, when linemen were keeping him in check.
This was true when playing the pass or the run, but I want to make one thing clear, it was never due to a lack of effort.
Anudike-Uzomah could tutor Anderson when it comes to effort.
What kind of effort level does Anudike-Uzomah bring to the field?
He chased down TCU’s quarterback Max Duggan like he stole something, and he almost did, he almost got into the end zone and stole the game from Kansas State.
That game saving tackle at the one-yard-line and the subsequent goal-line stand that kept TCU out of the end zone was seriously impressive and Anudike-Uzomah’s team won the Sugar Bowl 31-28 (OT).
It’s the kind of thing that moves the meter.
This is a great opportunity to touch on the importance of “want.”
When I worked in Pro Scouting at the Jets, and Bill Parcells was our Head Coach, this was one of his critical factors of scouting. “Is football important to him?”
This is about so much more than running around little orange cones in gym shorts, the thing that separates the greats from the not-so-greats is the characteristic of want, and Anudike-Uzomah shows on game film that his “want” is off the charts.
What’s the national mainstream narrative on this one?
Outside of me, CBS is in love with Anudike-Uzomah, mocking him into the first-round nine times just in the month of January alone.
I have never seen anything like that before. Nine times.
Outside of CBS and First Round Mock, he’s getting a little love here and there, but not much.
#91 Felix Anudike-Uzomah 6-foot-4, 255 pounds
Daniel Kelly’s Final 2023 NFL Draft Grade: First-Round (I would select him)
First Round Mock Big Board: TBD
Bust Probability: Low
Projected by 25.2% (up from 17.4% on September 30) of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of February 3, 2023 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)
Level of competition: High
2021 stats: 52 tackles (37 solo, 15 assists), 6 forced fumbles, 11.0 sacks (43 pressures nfldraftbuzz.com)
2022 stats: 46 tackles (31 solo, 15 assists), 2 forced fumbles, 1 pass defended, 8.5 sacks (43 pressures)
NFL comparable: Justin Tuck
2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Tenacious complete polished edge with long arms with good bend and a short-area burst. Lined up both sides and sometimes even standing up. Hardcore effort snap to whistle. Uses hands well. Full repertoire of pass rush moves (head fake, swim, dip and bend, rip and bull rush). Equally as impressive through the front and back doors of the pocket. Just keeps coming with something different to test tackles. Extreme aggression, toughness and physicality. Draws a lot of attention. Disruptive. On runs, he can shed and wrap inside. Will chase it down. Gets overpowered at times due to weight when linemen really get into him.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.
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