That Philadelphia Eagles signed undrafted rookie free agent offensive lineman Kayode Awosika after 2021 NFL Draft. They too reportedly gave him the second highest amount of guaranteed money from this year’s UDFA class. To learn more about this Buffalo blocker, I reached out to SB Nation’s MAC blog: Hustle Belt. Steve Helwick was kind enough to answer my questions.
1) Can you summarize his college career?
At Buffalo, Kayode Awosika was the anchor of one of the most dominant offensive lines in college football. As a junior in 2019, the three-year-old starter manned the right tackle position and secured his first All-MAC bid. He barred two 1,000-yard rushers while serving as a key gear for an offensive line that yielded 0.7 sacks per. Match – second best in FBS.
Buffalo then replaced three starters on the line, but the same results were repeated in Awosika’s senior season. In 2020, Buffalo allowed an FBS-best sack year-round and boasted the third-best urgent offense in the country. Awosika, who went over to the left tackle, earned another All-MAC bid and landed a spot on the All-American second team selected by the Football Writers Association of America. The star tackle was an integral part of Buffalo’s first two wins in the bowl in program history and the team’s first year-end at the AP Poll rankings in January last year.
2) What are his strengths?
Awosika has the skills to thrive in a host of positions ranging from the inside to both tackle slots. He is a strong blocker and demonstrates expertise in running his legs to finish blocks. Buffalo alum is also a hyper-conscious player. Each time he completes a block, he immediately attacks the next level and is always looking for additional tasks. Driving block is his specialty and he collects a good deal of pancakes in that facet of the game.
3) What are his weaknesses?
To extend his NFL career, Awosika will have to work on engineering. His lower body control and range of motion can be improved so his blocks feel less stiff. This stiffness could enable agile NFL caliber passers and defenders to act as an effective counter. But those qualities need to be addressed when Awosika enters the field of practice, and I expect he can quickly improve on these aspects of his game when September comes.
4) Are you surprised he was not pulled out?
Very. Awosika was selected as the second all-american team by the FWAA last year. MAC does not draw as many eyeballs as other conferences and line producers do not produce statistics, so you can tell that Awosika is quite talented when voters think a MAC line man justifies an American nod. He shone like a run blocker and pass blocker in one of the biggest offenses in the country and kept the fort down for two years in a row despite massive revenue on the line. With his versatility and experience as a left tackle and right tackle combined with his power and hand placement, I expected him to fall somewhere ranging from rounds 5 to 7.
5) How do you see his NFL career playing?
I recall Answer a similar question last year about Eagles undrafted free agent lineman Luke Juriga from western Michigan. Juriga played a total of 14 offensive and 34 special team snaps. While I do not expect the Eagles offense to reach an injury crisis, as it did last fall, I predict Awosika’s career will begin in a similar format. He earns his first reps on special teams in 2021. Eventually, he will work his way up to become a backup guard or tackle and serve as a utility player to fill in for injured starters. When successful in this area, Awosika comes with starting potential, depending on how well he can develop his technique and movements in the lower body.
And for what it’s worth – Jason Peters was also unnamed. While he may be the best untapped free agent tackle in history, and I do not expect untapped prospects to fill the shoes of a 6-time All-Pro pick, Peters shows that a path to a long and prosperous career is possible for players in Awosika’s position.
6) Is there anything to know about him off the field?
I loved when Buffalo made Awosika available at press conferences after the game last season because he was my favorite interview at MAC. He always showed up with positive vibes, and his camaraderie with his teammates was evident through his dialogue. One thing I really appreciated about Awosika was how profoundly he answered every question at the press conference. Ask him about any specific snap, then he will be able to explain what the defense looked like and how the offensive line accounted for each defender during the game.
BLG takes: Awosika to create the list is not impossible. The Eagles like to go heavy on the offensive. But there are a number of corpses in front of him, so he might just end up in the training group instead. Awosika seems like a valuable development project. It’s a win if he eventually becomes a solid backup guard.