The Ohio State Buckeyes missed 2024 NFL Draft first-round WR Emeka Egbuka in the team’s 20-12 win over Penn State, but is he on track to return for the team’s Week 9 contest against Wisconsin? Here’s the latest on Egbuka’s status.
Emeka Egbuka Injury: Latest News on Ohio State WR and 2024 NFL Draft Prospect
The Buckeyes initially lost Egbuka in Week 6 against Maryland to an unspecified lower body injury. He then missed two games — Week 7 against Purdue and Week 8 against Penn State.
Egbuka’s status was questionable in Week 8, and head coach Ryan Day had expressed hope that he’d be available. However, he ultimately sat out because of his injury.
MORE: Top WRs in the 2024 NFL Draft
This week, Day is a little more optimistic. During Tuesday’s press conference, he had this to say about Egbuka and other injured players: “We’re expecting great weeks of practice out of those guys. Expecting to have them ready on Saturday.”
Now, the expectation is that Egbuka will be available against the Wisconsin Badgers, joining likely early first-round pick Marvin Harrison Jr. and Julian Fleming in the fold.
Emeka Egbuka Scouting Report
- Uniquely built WR with a lean, compact, yet long-limbed frame and solid density.
- Explosive long-strider who can use urgent yet expansive strides to surge downfield.
- Brings instant acceleration out of stems, which he can use to easily stack displaced DBs.
- Has the flexibility to maintain stride lengths while bending and accelerating into space.
- With high-end change of direction, can freely swivel and stack lateral transitions.
- Master zone navigator with anticipatory feel for spacing, hip sink, and throttle freedom.
- Always intentional with head fakes, eyes, and pad level, and has a full route tree.
- Will use controlled leans to dictate DB angles upfield and exploit overaggression.
- Combined burst, flexibility, deception, snap, and IQ yield elite separation potential.
- Able to make high-difficulty adjustments in stride while extending beyond his frame.
- Reacts extremely quickly when contorting and positioning his hands in tight spots.
- Incredibly consistent hands-catcher with sturdy technique, sharp timing, and patience.
- Versatile, instinctive run-after-catch weapon that can be schemed a variety of touches.
- Able to absorb solo hits with contact balance and churn his legs through tackle attempts.
- Can use swipes and arm-bars to scrape through contact over the middle of the field.
- Very explosive but works better with room to open up his strides.
- Long speed falls a tick short of the breakaway mark when attacking seams.
- Occasionally lets the ball get into his frame when securing passes over the middle.
- Plant-and-drive footwork can be more efficient on routes breaking back toward the ball.
- Sometimes has wasted motion on his releases and can be more efficient with agility.
- At times, can be more precise fighting through contact, experiencing delays in press.
- Doesn’t quite have the sheer mass to bowl through sequential tacklers.
- Sometimes overshoots blocking angles and fails to strike cleanly with hands.
- Is more equipped to obstruct as a blocker than serve as a primary displacing force.
Current Draft Projection and Summary
While Harrison is my top overall prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft, Egbuka is not far behind him. Egbuka grades in my top 12 and rests on the blue-chip fringe.
While Harrison projects to the X role, Egbuka can be a dynamic movement Z receiver with near-unmatched alignment and usage versatility.
Coaches can scheme him touches on jet sweeps, swings, drags, screens, and other short routes. But he also has the full route tree and complete skill set to be employed in countless other ways. With his high-end tools and his ability to blend into many different roles, Egbuka is no doubt a Round 1 prospect.
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