“(With) the 200th draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select Emeke Egbule, a linebacker from Houston.”
As soon as those words were announced last Saturday, Chargers fans from coast-to-coast frantically looked up as many videos, stats, articles and any other content they could get their hands on to learn more about their new linebacker.
After all, that’s the common protocol for every single player selected in the NFL Draft.
So, what did they find out about Egbule?
Well, he’s a 6-2, 245-pound freight train of a linebacker who has an impressive mix of size and speed. Egbule broke out with a monster senior season, setting several career-highs while notching 69 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries, including a noteworthy scoop-and-score.
They likely saw film from his epic game against Memphis when he recorded 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
Oh, and they learned he’s a “Gift from God.”
“My name means a ‘gift from God,’” he explained to the media on a conference call. “(It’s) Nigerian.”
While his name has a deep meaning, it’s his God-given talent that really interests the Bolts.
In his first comments about the sixth-round pick Saturday evening, General Manager Tom Telesco outlined those traits that led the Chargers to select him.
"He's a bigger linebacker, but fast and hits,” Telesco said. “He's a run-and-hit linebacker. He's a physical player. Again, he has a lot of special teams qualities that we need. We wanted to add to that group, add a little bit of speed, add a little bit of size. Egbule certainly brings the size — he's about 6-2, 245. He plays the game with an aggressive tempo...He's an OTTO (linebacker), but really, he would play OTTO, MIKE or WILL. Any of those three.”
That’s music to Egbule’s ears as he’s eager to chip in any way he can.
“You can use me anywhere,” he said. “Third down, off the edge, in coverage, in the box. It doesn’t matter. I do everything… I’m very versatile. I can do everything. I can cover. I can rush the passer. I can set the edge, play in the box. Really anything. There’s not much I can’t do.”
Egbule’s confidence stems from his athleticism, which experts noted was off the charts leading into the draft.
“That’s a big part of everything!” he noted. “You’ve got to be athletic. I feel like I’ve got more of that than most players, and it shows.”
To his credit, Egbule is taking nothing granted.
If anything, he was extraordinarily humble on draft night as he stressed he must earn a role on the team.
To that end, Egbule promises to work tirelessly to reward the Bolts’ decision to bring him aboard.
“I know special teams is going to be a big part, and I’ve got no problem with that!” he emphasized. “I know I’m going to be a backup, so I just want to get better at that and (one day) earn a starting spot.”