Joseph Ngata 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- First California recruit to commit to Clemson since 1991
- Five-star wide receiver prospect, listed as a top-25 recruit in his class
- Scored a touchdown in 36 of 42 career high school games
- Scheme tendencies: High-volume of RPO quick game to complement vertical shot plays. QB draw layer infused into run game, which features mostly shotgun. Timing-based pass progressions.
- 2022 projected role: Starting perimeter WR
Pros: The ball skills are an area that, when blended with Joseph Ngata’s length and size, offer some high-level receptions in tight coverage. I have a great appreciation for how Ngata plucks the football effortlessly away from his frame and he is typically unbothered by contact at the catch point. His production is more in the way of chunk plays versus high volume to this point, but his 19.0 yards per reception in 2021 is a testament to his ability to win down the field—which he does on back-shoulder throws, targets above the rim, and in contested opportunities. Clemson wasn’t persistently targeting throws to the deeper portions of the field, but his ability to win here is an element that is a plus and he should find more targets in this area in 2022. The physicality of his play is an obvious hallmark feature and it shows up after the catch, at the catch point, and even in the run game, where Ngata is effective in pressing hard off the line of scrimmage and latching onto secondary players. His contributions do also include a year of work in the return game—he averaged 23.4 yards per return as a freshman in 2019.
Cons: Perhaps the biggest thing Joseph Ngata can do for himself in 2022 is to stay healthy—that has been a persistent problem for the big-bodied receiver in each of the last two years. He struggled with an abdominal strain (which required surgery), a hamstring issue, and a foot injury that cut short his 2021 campaign. On the field, I do have some concerns about how dynamic Ngata truly is as a receiver and I did not see a lot of consistent separation on his routes. Facing press coverage did not yield the kind of physical dominance on the line that I expected with his size. I think that area of improvement could unlock a lot of his game—winning earlier will help him declare himself as open and put defensive backs in recovery mode. As is, I like Ngata a lot as a depth receiver to align at the X position and play special teams (like Noah Brown in Dallas). Can he become more? That’s what I’m hopeful for, but he’s going to need to show more burst off the line and become more fluid at the top of his routes to get there.
Joseph Ngata NFL Draft Scouting Report by Kyle Crabbs