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Broncos roster review: Defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike

Will Eyioma Uwazurike take the next step and compete for even more playing time in 2023?

NFL: Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Eyioma Uwazurike is entering his second season in the NFL and at 320 pounds he is one of the Denver Broncos biggest defensive lineman on the roster. He appeared in just eight games as a rookie picking up 17 total tackles and a couple of quarterback hits.

Player Profile

Height: 6’6” | Weight: 320 pounds | Age: 25 years old

Arm Length: 35 1/8 inches | Hands: 10 1/8 inches

Eyioma Uwazurike’s 2023 outlook

Drafted in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Uwazurike was potentially seen as the perfect Shelby Harris replacement. He wasn’t going to be a refined pass rusher early on, so it was run defense that was going to get him playing time as a rookie. With DeShawn Williams moving on, we should see Uwazurike get more looks and more chances to earn playing time this season.

His frame is well suited for the 5-tech as he is built in the 95th percentile in arm length and wingspan at the position. He did have a pass deflection in his limited playing time last season.

He’ll need to develop some most consistency in the pass rush to gain more playing time. Stopping the run is a good trait to have, but if he can’t generate pressure then his opportunities to get on the field will be cut down significantly.

Final thoughts

While the Broncos did lose Williams this offseason, they also gained Zach Allen. The likely fills one spot along side nose tackle D.J. Jones. That would mean Uwazurike would need to beat out Matt Henningsen and others for a starting job in 2023. Frankly, Henningsen, despite being drafted two rounds later in 2022 in the sixth round, outplayed Uwazurike as a rookie and showed a lot more explosiveness inside than did Eyioma.

This could be one position battle that us fans should watch close in training camp. At least for those of us who got tickets to attend camp this year.

What do you think of Eyioma Uwazurike’s chances to earn a starting job this season? Let me know in the comments section below!