*Our TE grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.

**Our TE formulas had some slight changes in the offseason—an adjustment to better identify and value TE prospects that are smaller physically and are primed for the era ahead...the era of Jordan Reed and Delanie Walker-type TEs. Our historical grades will have changed some on various prospects as well, to show their grades by comparison. 

--Albert Okwuegbunam (pronounced Oak-woo-aye-boo-nom)

We’re flying a little blind trying to properly scout Albert Okwuegbunam by leaning on analytics/data. All we know, at this point, is…a 6’5”+/258 pound tight end prospect ran a 4.49 40-time, and that data point is surreal.

Do you know how many 250+ pound, 6’5” or taller tight end prospects have run in the 4.4s at an NFL Combine? In my database – only Okwuegbunam has even done so. O.J. Howard and Greg Olsen hit 4.51 as the next-best contenders.

If you relax/ignore the height and weight restrictions a touch, you get a few more qualifiers but they are mostly like underweight WR-to-TE projections, or college basketball-to-football athlete hopefuls. The guys who played traditional tight end and carry 250+ pounds and are 6’5”+…Albert Okwuegbunam stands alone in some ways, in speed terms. To take it a step further…Albert O. is nearly 260 pounds (258).

Just a check of other positions, I only found one linebacker prospect that was 250+ pounds and ran in the 4.4s at the NFL Combine – 2011 ILB prospect Martez Wilson (drafted #72, but I believe injuries killed him off before he could get going in the pros). Among DE prospects…Montez Sweat ran a 4.41 at 260 pounds. That’s all for 250+ pound Combine prospects, aside from Okwuegbunam.

Point being…what Okwuegbunam did in 40-time alone makes him a top 100 prospect and possible top tight end prospect in the class. I know there are a few more names in history that are big like Okwuegbunam and ran low 4.5s, and most are notable NFL successes – but just sticking with the 4.4s theme it’s a ‘wow’ item for Okwuegbunam’s prospect resume.

The question, of course, then becomes – can he play?

Just a few quick datapoints to chew on for Albert Okwuegbunam’s production in college…

1) He was a traditional tight end in college, not a wide receiver masquerading as a tight end.

2) Only Michael Roberts, Toledo has more TDs on a per game basis, among true tight end prospects, in his overall career than Okwuegbunam (according to my database).

3) If I run reports for tight end prospects who averaged 3.3+ catches, 40+ yards, and 0.70+ per game (ignoring all the FCS, D2, D3 riff raff) – there are two legit D1 tight end names showing – Albert Okwuegbunam and Rob Gronkowski.

‘Per game’ data in a career can be a head-fake here, because some tight ends log 10+ games early in their career as backups or special teamers and add games to their career tally with little/no stats to go with. I recognize that. But the point being – I can run a lot of data where Albert Okwuegbunam is high-end productive and a freak for his size compared to the history of data we have.

OK, but can he play? What did you see on tape?

That’s the thing…the tape is ‘OK’. It’s not great, it’s not bad…it’s flashes of what you would expect from a freak-ish tight end in college, but there’s also a lot of ‘yawn’ in there as well. But the yawn might be the way that he was used.

Was he underutilized because there is something not connecting with him or is it because of the Missouri offensive game plan?

When I would watch games with Albert Okwuegbunam, I would see one of two things…things that drive me nuts on gifted college tight ends…things that drove me nuts watching Noah Fant at Iowa…

#1) A lot of blocking. Which is fine, and he’s a solid blocker, but you have a 255+ pound man that can run a 4.49 40-time…wouldn’t you want the ball in his hands in any way possible, and running routes that force potential double teams to open up the rest of the field or run game? I don’t think I ever saw a bubble screen or anything really inventive with him from 2017 to 2018 to 2019. He was really a very traditional TE at Mizzu…good for his adjustment to the NFL, bad for trying to put highlight reel tape together.

#2) His big plays tended to be the typical college tight end kindergarten-basic play/routes…the tight end blocks on a run play, then blocks the next play, then more block, block, block, block, then a surprise slip off the block and sprint downfield and ‘hey whaddya know’ the 4.49 running tight end is 10+ yards ahead of coverage for an easy Drew Lock (2017-18) toss/score.

That’s cool, but I see that all the time with all kinds of tight ends (T.J. Hockenson made millions off this simplicity in college, and he’s a far inferior athlete to Okwuegbunam). I wanted to see a recognition that Okwuegbunam was their guy, their best weapon…I never saw it.

Okwuegbunam’s nice 2017 and 2018 seasons was a result of his athleticism mixed with Drew Lock being a freewheeling passer who would have Okwuegbunam fake the defense with the fake-block and go – Lock would hit him quick and a nice play would ensue…just could’ve been so much more. In 2019, with Kelly Bryant at QB, a runner/weaker thrower…Okwuegbunam was a random event target.

You’d want your freak player/receiver to catch…what? 5-6-7+ passes a game if possible? He’s a radical mismatch so it should be there. But Okwuegbunam had four or fewer catches in ALL 9 games with Kelly Bryant at QB in 2019. With Lock in 2018, he had four games (out of 9) with 5 or more catches.

Is it lower production because of Albert Okwuegbunam issues or the offense/college offenses in general? I mean, a 4.49 running tight end had 50 or fewer yards in a game in 15 of his final 19 games. Something didn’t fully click here. It felt like money got left on the table.

Was it him or the surroundings? I think it was the surroundings more than anything.

When I watched multiple games of his tape, I’d see Okwuegbunam open -- but they didn’t throw it to him/look to him that often. His offense preferred quick bubbles and bombs – with Lock or Bryant. The waiting for a tight end to run a nice route and hope it’s open in the tough-for-college QBs-to-see middle of the field – that’s not for today’s college QB, not what they like doing.

Okwuegbunam ran solid routes. He made all the catches, including ones with people on him tight/on his back. I don’t see a lot of flaws in the details when he did get his targets and run his routes. He was a decent blocker too. I don’t see many red flag items at all.

My biggest knock on Albert Okwuegbunam is his tape is kinda boring. I wanted some excitement, but if I consider he didn’t play in an exciting offense (for a tight end), and rare few college tight ends do – then I shouldn’t knock him for ‘boring’ (not troubling) tape.

On paper, in theory, Albert Okwuegbunam is a legit NFL TE prospect…and one who might be a lot better suited in the pros. The risk is – his boring college work is because he’s boring, not passionate/aggressive. Maybe, but he is a physical freak worst case…so, that has draft value just on speculation alone.

The one real knock I could discuss – Okwuegbunam has missed 4 games in each of the last two seasons with shoulder issues. That’s a red flag, minor, depending upon the medical checks and so far so good on that.



Albert Okwuegbunam, Through the Lens of Our TE Scouting Algorithm:

Albert Okwuegbunam scored 23 career TDs. 14 of those TDs were outside the SEC…mostly against FCS or weak D1 teams. Of his 9 SEC TDs, 5 came against Vandy and Arkansas. In the big games, he was solid but not special. Again, I think that flows from sketchy QB play that beat up on the weak and got smoked by any of the good SEC teams.

In his career, ‘Albert O’ faced Georgia 3x, Alabama, Auburn, Texas (bowl)…six big-time games and Missouri went 0-6 with an average score of 41.0 to 16.7. Drew Lock looked silly in games against better teams. Missouri exists to get whooped in conference by the power SEC teams. They shouldn’t even be in the SEC.

When Okwuegbunam faced Alabama in 2018, he posted a 4-47-0 line in a non-shocking big loss. I watched him in that game, and he seemed fine against Alabama athletes. He didn’t jump off the screen and didn’t look out-of-his-league.   

3rd biggest hands and 2nd longest arm length of any TE prospect in this draft. His size and speed and length – he really is a freak that oddly doesn’t feel like it or get the full credit for it.

2020 NFL Combine Data:

6’5.4”/258, 10.25” hands, 34 1/8” arms

4.49 40-time

No other drills done/recorded (and Pro Day postponed)

The Historical TE Prospects to Whom Albert Okwuegbunam Most Compares Within Our System:

The names on here are what you would expect. Noah Fant feels, to me, like a more graceful, aggressive athlete…a weapon. Maybe Albert Okwuegbunam can get there, but he feels more Greg Olsen-ish or more Jared Cook-like. 

TE Grade









Spd-Agil Metric

Strgth Blxing Metric

Hands Metric






























Miami, Fla












So. Carolina
























W. Michigan












Fla Atlantic







*A score of 7.0+ is where we start to take a TE prospect more seriously. A score of 8.50+ is where we see a stronger correlation of TEs going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL TE.

All of the TE ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

**The ‘TE-Reed’ score is in honor of Jordan Reed’s 2015 season…looking at TEs in a different manner—the smaller, speedy receiving threats.

“Speed-Agility Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding speed, agility, physical size, mixed with some on-field performance metrics. High scorers here project to have a better YAC and show characteristics to be used as deep threats/create separation.

“Power-Strength Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding physical size profiling, bench press strength, etc.  High scorers here project to be more physical, better blockers, and less injury-prone.

“Hands Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding on-field performance in college, considering the strength of opponents played. Furthermore, this data considers some physical profiling for hand size, etc. High scorers here have a better track record of college statistical performance, and project the combination of data for receiving success at the next level.

2020 NFL Draft Outlook:

Shockingly, not shockingly, Albert Okwuegbunam is no one’s top-rated TE prospect for this draft…not in the mainstream, for sure. How Cole Kmet and Adam Trautman continue to be universally rated higher, I don’t know…especially not after the Combine numbers hit. There should be some diversity of thought among scouts, but there NEVER is…playing tight end at Notre Dame seems to be deemed a special trait for analysts for some reason. I don’t get it, but we’ll see what we think in our Kmet scouting report (doing his study next after this one).

If I were an NFL GM, I’d really do a lot of research here on Okwuegbunam. I’d need to know about his shoulder without any doubts. I’d need to see more background info – all my study and interaction has been ‘empty’ on his personality/off-field…there’s nothing good or bad jumping out on his character, etc. 

But considering the lack of tight end talent in this draft and the emptiness of free agent tight ends in 2020 -- Albert Okwuegbunam may be worth a premium due to market forces, as much as his potential HIGH upside on paper.

NFL Outlook:   

This is a tricky one…if he lands in the right offense, for him, he should be able to shine…be a real weapon at the pro level. He could land with the Chargers and Tyrod Taylor and have his career put to sleep. He could land with a pro style QB in a pro style offense and be a real hit/weapon right away.