Is Erik Ezukanma Mike McDaniel’s new version of Deebo Samuel?

Is Erik Ezukanma the Miami Dolphins head coach, Mike McDaniel’s new version of Deebo Samuel?

The Miami Dolphins selected the Texas Tech wide receiver with the 125th pick Saturday afternoon, and his unique skill set is gaining some buzz from Dolphins fans. Mike McDaniel is infamous for the creative ways he used Deebo Samuel last season in San Francisco, and it seems as if Erik Ezukanma had McDaniel reminiscing about his old friend in California.

With Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedrick Wilson among others already in the fold, Miami needed a more physical and big-bodied receiver to bring balance to an electric wide receiver room with the recent departure of DeVante Parker. Ezukanma stands at 6’2, 210 pounds while running a 4.55 and having a 36.5-inch vertical. He caught 48 passes for 706 yards and 4TDs and also added in 138 yards and 2TDs on the ground as a redshirt junior last season.

Erik Ezukanma Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Raiders’ offense utilized many different packages to get the most out of Erik Ezukanma. Through the wildcat, quick screens, and even jet sweeps, they made sure to get their best playmaker the ball in space.

Here are some examples of the jet sweeps, β€œEZ” ran at Texas Tech:

One of my favorite clips being shared around is a collection of short passes that Ezukanma turned into profitable gains with his special knack for breaking tackles:

So, although his game isn’t pure speed and quickness, YAC is one of the biggest parts of Erik Ezukanma’s game, he just achieves it with a different skillset. With Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle being the two blazers on the outside, it’ll be nice to have a receiver who will refuse to go down but still fit in that mold of a “YAC WR”. Deebo Samuel ran a 4.48, which isn’t a whole lot faster than Erik Ezukanma. Deebo wins with his power and physicality, and that’s the exact same formula for EZ.
The last clip I want to show is a big-time 50/50 ball that resulted in a touchdown and shows off his potential to possibly contribute in the RedZone.

A pretty cool thing worth noting is Ezukanma’s relationship with superstar quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. The former Texas Tech alum spent some time working out with EZ prior to the draft and shared some advice for the transition to the next level.

β€œWork hard and be a sponge,” Mahomes told Ezukanma. β€œBe a guy that is on time to meetings. Don’t think you’ve made it once you get drafted because it’s just only starting.” -per Patrick Mahomes courtesy of si.com.

It’s clear that Ezukanma wants a similar relationship with his new starting quarterback. During his first press conference with the Dolphins media, Erik Ezukanma had some positive things to say about Tua Tagovailoa, which most Dolphins fans will be happy to hear.

I definitely see the intrigue from the Dolphins front office and Mike McDaniel. You can never have enough receivers, and when you can get your hands on a player with a unique skillset in the 4th round, you take a flyer on him. Ezukanma’s team-first mentality and competitive spirit is 100% another big reason the Dolphins fell in love with him during the combine process.

This is how EZ described himself to teams:

β€œA dog; A guy that works hard every day; A former team captain; an all-around talented wide receiver. I can do it all: red zone, backed-up, jet sweeps, hand offs… Whatever you need me to do I can do it for you. I don’t shy away from special teams. I have to earn my role on a team and I am willing to do whatever it takes.” -per Erik Ezukanma courtesy of si.com.

You want a team full of guys that share the same mindset as Ezukanma, and as we head into May and get closer to Rookie Minicamp and OTA’s, it’ll be exciting to see him take the field. I assume one of the biggest training Camp battles this off-season will be between Preston Williams and Erik Ezukanma for the primary big body receiver in the Dolphins offense.

Erik Ezukanma

Preston Williams. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

If the rookie can’t beat out talented Williams this summer, expect him to contribute heavily on special teams and get a year of development from one of the best WR coaches in the NFL, Wes Welker.

I’ll leave you with this, an awesome jersey swap of the newest Miami Dolphin!

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