Going into the 2022 NFL Draft, the buzz around the Texas Tech prospects was that Ezukanma and Dawson Deaton were the most likely to be drafted. That was exactly the case as EZ was taken with the 20th pick in the fourth round (125th overall) by the Miami Dolphins.
Deaton was taken with the 25th pick in the seventh round (246th overall) by the Cleveland Browns. Following Deaton there were no others drafted, but a few signed with teams.
DaMarcus Fields signed with the New Orleans Saints, Jonathan Garibay signed with the Dallas Cowboys and Kaylon Geiger signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now that we have names to these teams, it’s time to look at their situations and what impact they could possibly have.
With Ezukanma heading to the Dolphins in the fourth round, it seems like he’s in the best position to make the roster of all the Red Raiders drafted along with Garibay. EZ is joining a receiver room that had some solid editions this offseason, including Tyreek Hill and Cedrick Wilson Jr. Already on the roster is Jaylen Waddle, who had a promising rookie season himself.
Ezukanma is a guy who isn’t just restricted to the outside or the slot, he has the route running and speed to do both of them. He is one of the taller receivers on the team just behind Preston Williams, and has proven to be one of the better jump ball guys in college football. He will have to likely find a role on special teams to start his career as the receiving room is deep with experience, but he’s the type of guy that can work his way into a role at some point down his career.
Deaton is in a similar position as Jack Anderson was last year. The Browns have one of the better offensive lines in the league, so it’s going to be tough for Deaton to make the team. One thing about him is that he is 6’6” 305lb, so he has the size to move around the line and help at any position. This could help him become a swing player on the line, and a solid performance during camp and the preseason could find him a place on a roster throughout the season.
Other than Ezukanma, Garibay has a solid chance to be on a roster this season. The Cowboys only have one kicker on the roster in Chris Naggar, who only has one field goal attempt which he made last season.
Garibay was one of the better kickers in college football last season, and has the leg to make kicks from any distance. He’s as consistent as they come and now has a chance to compete for a starting job in the NFL on a team that has championship aspirations.
Fields found a spot in the Saints organization as a UDFA. He ran a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash and has been solid in his workouts during the draft process. He’s going to be great on special teams and could get a shot to get some defensive snaps if he makes enough of an impact during the offseason camps.
The Buccaneers took a shot on Geiger as they singed him on as a UDFA. Geiger was a great player this past season for Tech and stepped up when Ezukanma wasn’t able to play. His size profile fits the slot more in the NFL, and he’s a solid enough route runner to get open.
He’s another guy who will have to excel on special teams to make a roster to start his career, so we will have to see how that works out for him. He stepped up for Tech plenty and was always giving his all on the field, so I have no doubt he’ll work his butt off to do so.