American Football

NFL AFRICA ROOKIE CLASS OF 2022

The NFL Draft 2022 took place in Las Vegas from 28th April to 30th April, 2022. This was a successful draft for players with links to Africa, as 15 of them were drafted.

The players that were drafted are as follows;

  • IKEM EKWONU: He was born to Nigerian parents in Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States of America (US), and was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the sixth overall pick. He was the first offensive tackle taken in the 2022 NFL draft.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/ickey-ekwonu/3200454b-5741-5291-c575-71e78a1d7951 

Twitter @bigick79

  • ARNOLD EBIKETIE: Arnold who was born in Yaounde, Cameroon, played the linebacker position for the Penn State University team and was selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft, with the 38th pick.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/arnold-ebiketie/32004542-4941-5291-2f5f-b9168e0c96c0 

 

Twitter:@A7chronic

  • BOYE MAFE: Boye was born to Nigerian parents in Minnetonka, Minnesota in the US and he played the defensive end position for the University of Minnesota. He was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft, with the 40th pick.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/boye-mafe/32004d41-4641-5291-9981-cb7520c897a8 

Twitter: @boye_mafe

  • DAVID OJABO: David was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, but was raised in Aberdeen, Scotland. He played the Outsider Linebacker position for the University of Michigan and was selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft, with the 45th pick.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/david-ojabo/32004f4a-4141-5291-9c6d-849217a312b3 

Twitter: @DavidOjabo

  • BRIAN ASAMOAH: Brian was born in Columbus, Ohio to Ghanaian parents. He played the linebacker position for the University of Oklahoma, and his selection was special, because he was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 66th pick of the third round and the phone call was made by the General Manager, who happens to be a Ghanaian named Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/brian-asamoah/32004153-4158-6824-4e3e-99c858dd3af6 

Twitter: @Brianasamoah.

  • JOSHUA EZEUDU: Joshua was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia to Nigerian parents. He played the offensive guard position for North Carolina, and was selected by the New York Giants with the 67th pick of the third round of the 2022 NFL draft.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/joshua-ezeudu/3200455a-4542-6541-4b5c-8ae0c567f895 

Twitter:@Joshuaezeudu

  • ENYIOMA UWAZURIKE: Enyioma was born to Roland and Cinderella Uwazurike in Detroit, Michigan. He played the Defensive End position for Iowa State University, and was selected by the Denver Broncos, with the 116th Pick in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/eyioma-uwazurike/32005557-4118-9231-ead9-e9cc16e8088b 

Twitter: @eyioma_

  • ERIK EZUKANMA: Erik played the Wide Receiver position for Texas Tech University, and he was selected by the Miami Dolphins, with the 125th pick in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/erik-ezukanma/3200455a-5541-5291-fee6-830dca8a2c2a 

Twitter: @Erikezukanma

  • CHIGOZIEM OKONKWO: Chigoziem was born to a Nigerian family in Powder Springs, Georgia. He played the Tight End position for Maryland University, and was selected by the Tennessee Titans, with the 143rd pick in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/chigoziem-okonkwo/32004f4b-4f28-3611-fc64-d952b8d6cb17 

Twitter: @ChigTweets.

  • OTITO OGBONNIA: Otito was born to DR. SKC Ogbonnia and Mrs Nneka Ogbonnia in Houston, Texas. He played the Nose Tackle position for the University of California, Los Angeles, and was selected by the Los Angeles Chargers, with the 160th pick in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/otito-ogbonnia/32004f47-4257-3735-a031-5296cebb42ec 

Twitter: @otitoogbonnia12 

  • ESEZI OTOMEWO: Esezi was a Defensive Lineman for the University of Minnesota, and was selected by the Minnesota Vikings, with the 165th pick in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/esezi-otomewo/32004f54-4f20-7645-aebd-58df974e1ca7 

 

Twitter: @EseziOtomewo

  •  KINGSLEY ENAGBARE: Kingsley played the Outside Linebacker position for South Carolina University, and was selected by the Green Bay Packers, with the 179th pick in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/kingsley-enagbare/3200454e-4104-0912-811c-67db1204d680 

Twitter: @_kingsleye 

  • CHRIS OLADOKUN: Chris played the Quarterback position for South Dakota State University, and was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the 241st pick in the 7th round of the 2022 NFL draft.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/chris-oladokun/32004f4c-4116-6115-589e-83a6fa13f48d 

Twitter: @1Chrisoladokun0

  • JESSE LUKETA: Jesse’s parents hail from the Democratic Republic of Congo but was born in Ottawa, Canada. He played the Outside Linebacker position for Penn State University, and was selected by the Arizona Cardinals, with the 256th pick in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL draft.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/jesse-luketa/32004c55-4b66-2948-8ef4-cc7583bab190 

Twitter: @ottawasveryown 

  • SAMORI TOURE: Samori played the Wide Receiver position for Nebraska University, and was selected by the Green Bay Packers, with the 258th pick in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL draft.

https://www.nfl.com/players/samori-toure/ 

 

Twitter: @Samori_toure

Aside from the NFL draft, the NFL created the International pathway, in order to strengthen the pipeline of International players, and aims to provide elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.

The following players with links to Africa, were allocated to an NFL team, through this program:

  • ADEDAYO ODELEYE: Adedayo was born in Nigeria, and started playing American Football in 2017 in Loughborough University. He was allocated to the Houston Texans team in the NFL.

https://twitter.com/bafaofficial/status/1344362025879789570?lang=en 

  • AYO OYELOLA: Ayo graduated from the University of Nottingham, and was allocated to the Jacksonville Jaguar team in the NFL.

https://twitter.com/bafaofficial/status/1344362025879789570?lang=en 

  • THOMAS ODUKOYA

As part of the International program and in a bid to highlight African talents, two-time SuperBowl champion Osi Umenyiora launched the Uprise Academy Programme and the following athletes were signed to NFL teams, through this programme:

  • CHIGBO ROY MBAETEKA: Chigbo was born in Anambra State in Nigeria. He participated in the Uprise academy programme and was selected as one of 70 players to participate in the NFL International Player Pathway Combine in London and from there, he was eventually able to land a spot with the New York Football Giants.

https://twitter.com/giants/status/1512548618955157505 

Twitter: @its_McRoy 

  • HAGGAI NDUBUISI: Haggai was signed by the Arizona Cardinals, through this Uprise/International pathway program,  to play the Offensive Tackle position.

https://twitter.com/AZSports/status/1516533346741927947 

 

Twitter: @NdubuisiHaggai 

  • KEHINDE OGINNI: Kehinde was signed by the Kansas City Chief, through the Uprise/International pathway program, to play the Tight End position.

https://twitter.com/scottpioli51/status/1523792097446608896 

Twitter: @icon_81 

We wish these players the very best, as they start out their professional journey in the NFL.

Stephen Ojo

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