4 Alabama players the Jacksonville Jaguars could target in the 2023 NFL Draft
By Beau Adams
2. Alabama player the Jacksonville Jaguars could draft: Emil Ekiyor Jr.
Offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor Jr. earned First-Team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press and the league coaches. He has been a solid starter for the Crimson Tide for three years, gaining unmatched experience for the NFL, blocking for the No. 4 ranked scoring offense in college football.
Ekiyor Jr. was a four star recruit out of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was recruited heavily to Notre Dame but landed with the Crimson Tide. He plays with a physical temperament that looks to finish defenders in the run game, pushing defenders to allow 5.5 yards per carry at Alabama. He pancakes run stoppers, watch the video to see an example.
The 6-foot-2, 314-pound offensive tackle has not allowed a sack in two seasons playing 27 games with the Crimson Tide. That is the kind of protection the fans and the hope of the Jaguars, Trevor Lawrence, dream about.
One scout noted he has outstanding instincts on reach blocks, showing good initial quickness and flexibility to seal the backside. He's a heads-up player who is quick to recognize and react to twists and stunts up front, and Ekiyor shows a good sense of timing on combo blocks. the Alabama product checks all the boxes besides height.
With above-average football smarts and general intelligence Ekiyor would be a solid addition to the Jaguars' trenches. However, his slight lack of height has all mock drafts and analysts rank him as the 13th overall interior lineman. This makes him a low-cost steal for the Jaguars in the fourth round. He is a mid-round draft gem that could be an anchor on the line for years to come.