Joel Iyiegbuniwe

Western Kentucky
LB

Prospect Info

College
Western Kentucky
Hometown
Class
BOWLING GREEN, KY
r-Junior
Height
Weight
Arms
6' 1"
229 lbs
32 5/8”
Hands
10 1/4”

Prospect Grade

5.30
NFL Backup or Special Teams Potential
How We Grade

2018 Draft Results

Drafted by
Chicago
Bears
Round 4 ‧ Pick 15
40 Yard Dash
4.6
Seconds
 
Bench Press
19
Reps
 
Vertical Jump
35.0
INCHES
 
Broad Jump
117.0
INCHES
 
3 Cone Drill
7.06
Seconds
 
20 Yd Shuttle
4.28
Seconds
 
60 Yd Shuttle
--
Seconds
 
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Playlist

Iyiegbuniwe (pronounced ee-yay-boo-nee-way) slipped under the recruiting radar as an injury cut his senior season in high school to just four games. Then, he suffered an injury three games into his true freshman season with the Hilltoppers (he made one tackle), which resulted in his receiving a medical redshirt. The Bowling Green, Kentucky native finally played a full season in 2015, suiting up for 14 games as a reserve linebacker and special teams ace (19 tackles, one sack). That production led to a big sophomore season, as he earned honorable mention All-Conference USA recognition after starting all 14 games (64 stops, 10 for loss, 3.5 sacks, three pass break-ups). The compactly-built and quick Iyiegbuniwe decided to move on to the NFL after a junior year that saw him garner first-team all-conference accolades, leading WKU with 116 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss.
By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Round 6-7
Overview
Iyegbuniwe put together a very strong campaign this season, but some of those numbers don't look translatable on the next level without a lot more work. His speed and athletic ability in coverage are big pluses in his favor. His NFL role may have to be as a backup weak-side linebacker with some cover talent who can become a top special teams worker.
Strengths
  • Rangy, athletic frame
  • Plays with good speed in pursuit
  • Shows early burst in his scrapes to play past climbing blockers
  • Actively searches to strip the football and create opportunities to flip the momentum
  • Finished 2017 with three forced fumbles
  • Very smooth in his backpedal and when driving into space
  • Has athletic ability to warrant consideration as a cover linebacker in subpackages
  • Special teams talent to cover
  • Finished career with 11 tackles on special teams
Weaknesses
  • Gets caught coasting too much when the play is developing away from him
  • Needs to keep the motor activated
  • Slow to balance eyes between blockers and ball-carrier
  • Will need to improve ability to slip blocks on the next level
  • Gets stuck on blocks when he gets squared up
  • Too accepting of his fate and needs to fight it early with a strong punch
  • Awareness in zone coverage can be improved

News

Path to the Draft

Final quick-snap 2018 NFL Draft grades for all 32 teams

Best and most worrisome picks from the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft

Winners and losers from Rounds 2, 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft

GRADE
9.00-10
Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99
Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99
Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49
Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49
Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99
Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49
NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99
Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
NO GRADE
Likely needs time in developmental league