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.
— NFL (@NFL) May 3, 2022
- 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.
The Atlanta Falcons pick Penn State EDGE Arnold Ebiketie at No. 38 overall.
88.4 PFF grade in 2021 (2nd among Big Ten EDGEs) 🐾 pic.twitter.com/f2RPvjTiku
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 29, 2022
- 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.
Boye Mafe look YOCKED for the Seahawks 💪 pic.twitter.com/6oJ9RfEpPc
— Sports ON Tap Seattle 🎙 (@SONTSeattle) May 8, 2022
- 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.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) April 30, 2022
- 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.
— The Viking Age (@TheVikingAge) April 30, 2022
- 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.
The New York Giants pick North Carolina Guard Joshua Ezeudu at No. 67 overall.
83.0 run blocking grade in 2021 (3rd among ACC Guards) 🥶 pic.twitter.com/izeaxdPFHC
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 30, 2022
- 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.
Keep sleeping 💤 pic.twitter.com/SgVLL2Ku7C
— 🇳🇬 ENYIOMA UWAZURIKE (@eyioma_) July 28, 2018
- 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.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 30, 2022
- 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.
TE’s with the highest receiving grades vs press coverage last season
🥇 Chigoziem Okonkwo: 88.6
🥈 Brock Bowers: 88.1
🥉 Peyton Hendershot: 87.7 pic.twitter.com/6868R0mDTD
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 3, 2022
- 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.
— UCLA Barstool (@UCLABarstool) April 30, 2022
- 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.
SKOL U MAH 〽️
— SKOR North (@SKORNorth) April 30, 2022
- 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.
The Green Bay Packers pick South Carolina Edge Kingsley Enagbare at No. 179 overall.
92.5 pass rush grade (highest by an SEC Edge in 2021, highest since 2018) 💢 pic.twitter.com/N8xWl3cykZ
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 30, 2022
- 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.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 30, 2022
- 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.
With the 256th pick in the 2022 Draft, the Cardinals select LB Jesse Luketa. pic.twitter.com/lRQM85jhhy
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 30, 2022
- 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.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) April 30, 2022
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.
Two of our own. 🇬🇧
The latest to defy the odds and realise their dreams! pic.twitter.com/4Lu8NFroaU
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) May 3, 2022
- AYO OYELOLA: Ayo graduated from the University of Nottingham, and was allocated to the Jacksonville Jaguar team in the NFL.
- 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:
— NFL (@NFL) May 3, 2022
- 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.
Football is global 🌍
The @Giants signed Nigerian OT prospect Chigbo Roy Mbaeteka, a participant of the @NFL International Pathway Program and the International Scouting Combine in London 🇳🇬https://t.co/y1wmE1AyKB pic.twitter.com/TJQnM9CREC
— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) April 11, 2022
- HAGGAI NDUBUISI: Haggai was signed by the Arizona Cardinals, through this Uprise/International pathway program, to play the Offensive Tackle position.
Arizona Cardinals signed Nigerian OL Haggai Chisom Ndubuisi, who was discovered in Nigeria and the NFL international pathway program!
— AfroBallers (@afroballers) April 22, 2022
- KEHINDE OGINNI: Kehinde was signed by the Kansas City Chief, through the Uprise/International pathway program, to play the Tight End position.
Congrats Kehinde Oginni (@kenny_dnextTO81 ) #ChiefsKingdom & the @Chiefs are SO fortunate to have you
With Roy Mbaeteka (@Giants ) & Ndubuisi Haggai (@AZCardinals ) also signing w/ #NFL teams it has been an incredible year for the NFL IPP program & @NFLAfrica 🙏🏼🙏🏾🙏🏿@OsiUmenyiora pic.twitter.com/rbGkCpzo3n
— Scott Pioli (@scottpioli51) May 9, 2022
We wish these players the very best, as they start out their professional journey in the NFL.