Rookie Rundown: TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri

Rookie Rundown: TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri

Fantasy football player analysis tips and advice

Rookie Rundown: TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri

By

Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Albert Okwuegbunam played wide receiver in high school and then switched to tight end when he arrived at Missouri. He redshirted his first season and became the starter during the 2017 season when he caught a team-high 11 touchdowns. He went on to start the next two seasons and then declared for the 2020 NFL draft as a junior.

He was selected for the 2017 All-SEC Freshman Team and twice was on the All-SEC Second Team. He led the Tigers in receiving touchdowns all three years.

Height: 6-6
Weight: 258 pounds
40 time: 4.49 seconds

Okwuegbunam missed four games in each of his last two seasons due to shoulder injuries.

Year Games Catch Yards Avg. TD Runs Yards. TD Total Yards Total TDs
2017 9 29 415 14.3 11 0 0 0 415 11
2018 9 43 466 10.8 6 0 0 0 466 6
2019 9 26 306 11.8 6 0 0 0 306 6

Pros

  • Very fast for a big man – wideout speed
  • Can make the highlight reel catch
  • Touchdown machine – 23 scores on 98 career catches
  • Longest arms at the NFL Combine
  • End zone catch magnet – big frame shields out defenders
  • Will make the catch in the crowd
  • Adept blocker
  • Vertical seam threat

Cons

  • Durability concerns with shoulder problems the last two years
  • Not considered a fluid receiver – mechanical in his routes
  • No burst off the line
  • Underdeveloped route runner

Fantasy outlook

Okwuegbunam presents as an outstanding endzone target which is exactly what he was for the Tigers. Big frame and natural catching skills. Can shield away defenders because he is so big and his catching radius is huge. That alone merits consideration when he is drafted since he’ll be an added weapon around the goal line at the very least. As he showed in college, he was already gifted at scoring when he was a freshman.

His speed can allow him to make big gains on vertical routes when he sells his blocking and then takes off deep. It isn’t the biggest part of his game but he can be more than just the tallest guy in an end-zone scrum.

Despite his speed and catching ability, he doesn’t project as the next George Kittle or Travis Kelce because his overall skills are not there as a receiver. He needs to improve route running and learn to do more in the short and intermediate areas getting separation and doing more after the catch.

It is troublesome that he lost time in both of the last two seasons due to shoulder injuries.

As it stands, he comes into the NFL considered to be an asset in the end zone with the occasional deep play. Rookie tight ends tend to perform poorly as a freshman anyway, and Okwuegbunam still has work to do on becoming more than a blocker and a hopeful touchdown sponge in the end zone.

THE LATEST

More Huddle
Home