How He Got Here
Arnold Ebiketie has come a long ways since the start of his collegiate career. He was a lightly recruited two-star prospect with three FBS offers - Army, Navy and Temple. He chose the latter, appearing in three games with four tackles as a true freshman. He upped his productivity slightly as a sophomore with 12 tackles and two sacks. He then had a major breakout year in the shortened 2020 season where he was named American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In just six games, Ebiketie produced four sacks, 8.5 TFLs, 42 tackles, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown.
He left the Owls to join Penn State via the transfer portal as a senior, and had his most productive season by far. Ebiketie became a constant presence who demanded plenty of attention. He accumulated 62 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 18 TFLs, and three forced fumbles - one that helped Penn State take a late lead over Michigan before ultimately falling to the Wolverines. He was named first-team All-Big Ten for his efforts.
What You’re Getting
The team that ultimately drafts Ebiketie should benefit immediately from his presence on the field. He’s the type of player who pops off the screen and is a threat to make a big play at any moment. He is similar to former Nittany Lion and Kansas City Chief Tamba Hali as both had exceptional closing speed to get to the quarterback in the blink of an eye. He also closes with such force that there’s a strong possibility he’ll dislodge the ball out of the quarterback’s hands upon impact.
Ebiketie is wildly athletic for his 6-2, 250 lb. frame. His vertical leap was measured at 38’’, as he demonstrated with a pivotal field goal block in the week one victory at Wisconsin. He is a possible first round selection, and should not drop below round two.
He has shown an outstanding drive to get better, going from a 205 lb. two-star recruit with a tiny offer sheet to a potential first round draft pick. Wherever he lands, he will add instant value as a skilled edge rusher with potential to become a Pro Bowl defensive end in short time.
The first round of the NFL Draft will kick off Thursday, April 28 at 8 p.m. EST. Check out the current NFL Draft betting lines, per DraftKings Sportsbook: