Michael Egwuagu - Safety, UTSA Roadrunners
40 yard dash: 4.64
Bench press reps: 19
Vertical jump: 33.5”
Broad jump: 10’1”
20 yard shuttle: 4.34
3-cone drill: 7.06
Brother of former UT Longhorn Martin Egwuagu and cousin of former Louisiana Tech and current Buffalo Bill defensive tackle IK Enemkpali, Egwuagu has a strong family lineage of success. Egwuagu played in all four of his years at UTSA, earning honorable mention All-Conference USA honors in 2015 and second team All-Conference USA in his senior 2016 season. Hailing from the Austin area, Egwuagu is also a talented recording artist and a natural leader both on UTSA’s campus as well as on the football field.
Egwuagu’s strength lies directly in his versatility. An outside linebacker at the high school level, Egwuagu spent most of his collegiate career at a 4-2-5 linebacker/safety hybrid position before moving to a more traditional safety role in his senior season. Egwuagu is also a fantastic fit for a nickel cornerback role which is where I expect him to end up playing at the next level. Pro Football Focus saw Egwuagu as a nickel cornerback, ranking him as the second best corner in college football in 2016 with a dazzling 90.3 rating. LSU’s Tre’Davious White took the top spot with a 90.5 rating. Egwuagu was also named to PFF’s 2016 pre-season G5 dream team.
When asked to play further away from the line of scrimmage Egwuagu handled the challenge with ease. There were a few plays last season where Egwuagu allowed receivers to slip past him to take the top off of the secondary but it was a great performance considering Egwuagu had essentially played as a type of linebacker for the past seven seasons. Egwuagu also has the ability to pressure the cornerback on the blitz as a sure tackler.
Of course Egwuagu’s leading strength can also be construed as a weakness. He doesn’t have the ideal body type for any one singular position on the football field which will likely keep him from being drafted in the early rounds. Egwuagu has the intelligence and work ethic to contribute at any position in the secondary but he doesn’t have multi-year experience at any spot besides the 4-2-5 hybrid slot.
While Egwuagu could never be described as “slow” he lacks the top end speed that general managers are typically looking for in cornerbacks regardless of whether they play out wide or in the slot. Given his size and strength Egwuagu can use his physical traits to make up for that relative lack of speed but it’s still a missing tool that would otherwise make him the total package as a defensive back.
Egwuagu’s draft prospects are uncertain. I could certainly see him getting picked up by a team in the late rounds as well as immediately signing as a free agent following the draft if no franchise pulls the trigger. With his natural charisma and leadership qualities Egwuagu is a guy that will interview very well. His versatility makes him such a huge asset as franchises need to maximize the roles their reserve players on the roster can pick up in practice and as replacements for injured players.