The Miami Dolphins are almost two weeks into training camp, and their combination of scheme and talent are beginning to take shape. As both players and coaches get more comfortable, there have been several breakout performances. There may be none more impressive, however, than rookie wide receiver Erik Ezukanma.
Erik Ezukanma Profile
Coming out of Texas Tech, Ezukanma presented a unique skillset. Along with an impressive 6’2″, 205 pound frame, he possessed the ability to make big plays at the catch point, along with in YAC situations. This versatility was what stood out to new Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, who operated with similar weapons in San Francisco. Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, both drafted during McDaniel’s tenure, have been utilized in myriad ways. While Ezukanma wasn’t drafted as highly as those two, the vision of how he can be used is there.
Performing in Training Camp
Fast forward about three months, and training camp is upon us. Having attended the last two days, Erik Ezukanma’s skill and versatility are as advertised. It seems that he’s making plays every day, and has proven he belongs with the starting group.
Standing out has been his ability to win off the line and attack zone coverage. There has been more than one occasion over the last two practices where Ezukanma was faced with press coverage. In those scenarios, he uses a combination of strong hands and quick feet to get off the line. As for the latter, his ability to sense and attack space has been noticeable. There were several occasions over the last couple days where he stopped his route in the dead spot of the zone. Each time, he attacked the football and made a play.
It is the skill of attacking the football that has also stood out, particularly in one-on-one situations. It’s clear that he’s a natural receiver, especially in the sense of timing and ball tracking. When a jump ball is thrown his way, he is able to high-point it and make a play. That’s a skill the Dolphins wide receiver room is lacking after trading DeVante Parker to the Patriots. His skillset complements that of speedsters Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, providing elements they lack.
The Bottom Line on Erik Ezukanma
Although it’s only been a little over a week, and overreactions are common in the off-season, Erik Ezukanma has been a consistent top performer. In an offense dominated by veteran depth at the skill position, a rookie has found his way into the spotlight.
It will be intriguing to see if Miami gives him more run with the starting unit in practice, as well as how much he plays on August 13th, where Miami takes on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their first preseason game. Then, we will see if the rookie with the self-proclaimed nickname “Eazy-E” lives up to the hype.