Missouri tight end Albert Okwuegbunam is likely going to be a player we’ll be discussing on this site for the next several months and especially with him already declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft as an underclassman last month. Okwuegbunam is already being projected as one of the top three or four tight ends in the 2020 draft class and with the Pittsburgh Steelers potentially being in the market for one this offseason, you can see why we’ll likely to have a few posts dedicated to the Missouri product between now and the end of April. Today I’ll reveal the full contextualization of Okwuegbunam’s 2019 pass targets.
For his college career, Okwuegbunam caught 98 passes for 1,187 yards and 23 touchdowns at Missouri. This past season, however, Okwuegbunam only caught 26 passes for 306 yards and six touchdowns, which was a bit of a down season for him compared to his two previous ones. He did miss one game this past season due to a shoulder injury, however.
In total, I have Okwuegbunam down as being targeted 38 times in total during the 2019 season. Fortunately, I was able to find all but five of those targets. Of the five I couldn’t locate tape of, four were incomplete passes. As you can see in the table of below, every target of Okwuegbunam’s from last season has been contextualized to show specific data such as down, distance, pass distance, yards after the catch and area of the field the target occurred in. Where applicable, a link to the specific play is provided for viewing.
So, what does the contextualized target data tell us about Okwuegbunam’s 2019 season?
For starters, Okwuegbunam’s average intended target distance was 8.4 yards on the 33 plays that I could contextualize. He also posted an average yards per reception distance of 7.7 yards on 25 of his 26 total catches in 2019. Both numbers are greater than LSU tight end Thaddeus Moss posted this past season. Additionally, eight of the 25 catches that Okwuegbunam had last season that I could contextualized happened 10 more yards past the original line of scrimmage. Okwuegbunam’s average yards gained after the catch in 2019 was 4.3, which is lower than that of Moss’s.
Okwuegbunam did have six drops last season that I observed and that’s a high number based on 38 total targets. Because of that, his 2017 and 2018 targets will need to be researched to see if drops have been an issue with him.
In totality, Okwuegbunam posted a nice target reel in 2019 and within it you’ll see a couple of nice catches down the field. While the rest of Okwuegbunam’s college tape needs dissecting to see how his route running and run blocking is, it’s hard to imagine him being a first-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s a good pass catching tight end as he exits college for the NFL, but certainly far from being considered a blue-chip one.
Enjoy this 2019 contextualization of Okwuegbunam’s targets to get a quick feel for him. Moving forward, one of us on the site will take a deeper dive into other areas of his overall game.