Law Nation Film Study: Chidobe Awuzie


OVERVIEW
Pro corner Nnamdi Asomugha is a family friend of Awuzie (ah-wooz-yeh), but his style of play would make you think he’s a relation. He made an immediate impact as a freshman, starting seven games, making 59 tackles, five for loss, and breaking up four passes. Awuzie was leading the team in tackles with 64 through nine games in 2014 (along with two interceptions, eight pass breakups), but missed the end of the year with a lacerated kidney suffered in practice. Healthy again in 2015, he was a second-team All-Pac 12 pick starting mostly at the nickel spot (90 tackles, nine for loss, four sacks, two INT, 10 pass breakups). Awuzie was second-team all-conference again as a senior (65 tackles, six for loss, one INT, 12 PBU), joining two other members of the Buffaloes’ secondary on that squad.

ANALYSIS
STRENGTHS Fluid, controlled steps with easy change of direction allows for extended mirroring from press. Decent jam to disrupt. Carries smooth backpedal downfield with excellent mirror-and-match footwork in man coverage. Digests route combinations from zone and makes wise choices. Athletic with suddenness in his movements. Springy feet allow for abrupt click and close to the throw. Opens and swivels hips for desired transition in all directions. Experienced outside and from slot. Able to maintain coverage on shifty slot receivers. Instinctive with feel for route development. Possesses short-area closing burst. Confident on an island. Finds receiver on deep balls and gets head turned around. Dangerous slot blitzer with seven sacks over final two seasons at Colorado.

WEAKNESSES Short strider. Appears to lack long, recovery speed if beaten over top. Feels smaller than his listed size. Can be handsy down the field with pulls and tugs that turn into flags as a pro. Managed just three interceptions in college. Run support is lacking. Could use more aggressiveness and commitment when stepping downhill to tackle. Passes on the big hit and allows tight ends and big receivers to power through tackle attempts.

DRAFTED 2nd Round

NFL COMPARISON Prince Amukamara

BOTTOM LINE Sticky man-cover corner who possesses the reactive athleticism and foot quickness to maintain coverage responsibilities around the field. Awuzie’s combination of size and speed pairs well with his instincts providing him what he needs to compete downfield. His inconsistencies as a tackler could turn off some teams, but his abilities as a gunner on special teams may counter that. He can play outside or in the slot and has traits and talent to compete for early playing time.

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