Every year, the draft produces some polarizing prospects. Prince Tega Wanogho is such a player in the 2020 NFL Draft.
As happens for every year, the 2020 NFL Draft is full of boom-or-bust prospects that could either become a star or a complete washout with equal likelihood in the NFL.
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This year, perhaps the biggest such player to fit the mold (figuratively and literally) is Prince Tega Wanogho, an offensive tackle out of Auburn.
Wanogho, the former defensive lineman turned blindside protector, fits the eyeball test at 6-foot-7 and 305 pounds while impressing with his raw potential but also has some big question marks for the next level that make him a wild card for the next level.
Wanogho is full of raw talent and athleticism but short on technique and instincts. He’s at his best when he can use his freakish combination of length, speed and strength to get a handle on defensive linemen and drive them out of the way. Physically he possesses every skill you need in a franchise left tackle with great speed, spectacular power and the length to get a handle on defenders before they get a hand on him.
As you can imagine, run blocking is where Wanogho especially shines. The chance to move forward and violently lay a block plays into his strengths perfectly.
With any boom-or-bust prospect, there has to be a big flaw in the mix. For Wanogho, this mostly lies in his technique (or lack thereof) that comes to the surface. Being a convert to the offensive line, Wanogho is still learning the instincts, technique and application of that technique.
With his hand placement and his footwork still a work in progress, Wanogho has been guilty of being knocked and pushed off his base by defensive linemen. He has strength to be a left tackle, but his hand placement means he can’t use all his strength in pass blocking. His footwork can be sloppy which means his stance isn’t set.
His body placement is a bit off as well. He is guilty of bending too much at the waist or hesitating slightly to intercept defenders coming past his outside shoulder, and NFL defenders can take advantage of that.
What will intrigue teams however is these are issues that can be fixed by good coaching. The risk is if Wanogho can respond to that coaching or not. If he develops the technique and consistency to match his athletic ability, he would potentially be a perennial Pro Bowler in the NFL.
Likely to be a second-round pick, Wanogho will be a project that will take a year or two for teams to change from a raw project to a NFL player.
For the team that takes him, it could turn into a potential steal.