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August 31, 2023

Eagles player review: Albert Okwuegbunam edition

Here's what you need to know about the Eagles' new tight end, Albert Okwuegbunam.

Eagles NFL
083023AlbertOkwuegbunam Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Albert O

During the offseason, we take close looks at Philadelphia Eagles players of interest who are currently on the roster but we may not know a lot about just yet. Because the Eagles added a somewhat unknown player in Albert Okwuegbunam via trade on Tuesday, let's take a deeper look at him.

Previous player reviews

Olamide Zaccheaus | D'Andre Swift | Greedy Williams | Christian Elliss
Britain Covey | Rashaad Penny | Grant Calcaterra | Josh Jobe

Okwuegbunam was a fourth-round pick of the Broncos in 2020, who did not live up to some of the loftier expectations Broncos fans had for him. His career numbers: 

Albert OkwuegbunamRec Yards YPC TD 
2020 11 121 11.0 
2021 33 330 10.0 
2022 10 95 9.5 
TOTAL 54 546 10.1 

In Okwuegbunam's three seasons in college (Missouri), he caught an impressive 23 TD passes, and had outstanding testing numbers at the 2020 NFL Combine, where he ran a 4.49 40 at 6'5, 258. In addition to his ideal height/weight, Okwuegbunam has 34 1/8" arms and 10 1/4" hands.

"First thing you talk about Albert, you talk about the physical ability," said Howie Roseman on Tuesday. "He is 6'5. He is almost 260 pounds. He runs a 4.4. He’s got a huge wing span. He has really good lower body flexibility for a big guy."

Roseman indicated that he and Nick Sirianni were impressed by Okwuegbunam's performance when the Broncos showcased him in their third and final preseason game.

"We had a chance to watch him together, and obviously Coach has had tremendous success with that position and some guys who look like this," he said. "So, bring him in here. He is 25 years old. We have some people in the building who were with Denver when they drafted him and give him an opportunity."

The Colts' Mo Alie-Cox is a player who comes to mind who Sirianni worked with in previous stops who looks a little like Okwuegbunam.

Anyway, in that last preseason game, Okwuegbunam had 7 catches on 8 (official) targets for 109 yards and a TD. The lone target that was not completed was a throwaway and probably should not have been credited to Okwuegbunam. But whatever. Here are those seven catches.

On the one hand, his performance was against guys who will soon be playing in the CFL or selling insurance. On the other hand... he still looked pretty good!

Okwuegbunam's career in Denver was stalled as a rookie when he tore an ACL. He also missed three games in 2021 with a hamstring injury, but showed some promise that season. In 2022, he was more or less a non-factor in a dreadful Broncos offense.

Criticisms of Okwuegbunam have centered around inconsistency and blocking. Here's troglodyte Mark Schlereth killing Okwuegbunam for a bad block in that final preseason game.

Yes, Mark, he made plays all over the field in the passing game, but Sean Payton cut him because of that one sh*tty block, lol.

Ultimately, tight ends who are stellar blockers are pretty rare in today's NFL. It's not 1970. In today's NFL, if a tight end can create mismatches against linebackers with their speed or against safeties with their size, they can be valuable to passing attacks. They just have to be "good enough" as blockers. 

When it was reported that the Broncos were poised to cut Okwuegbunam, the Eagles stepped in and swapped their sixth-round pick in 2025 with the Broncos' seventh-round pick in 2025 to nab Okwuegbunam, assuming that he would be claimed by another team before the Eagles would get the chance. For that low cost, Sirianni and the Eagles staff will have a chance to get more out of Okwuegbunam than the Broncos did. And if they can't, which is probably a little more likely, meh. 🤷‍♂️

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