With the 179th pick in the fifth round, after trading back to pick up another 7th round pick, the Packers chose Kingsley Enagbare, an edge from the University of South Carolina. Enagbare was a favorite of many Packers fans on Twitter prior to the draft and compares favorably to Za’Darius Smith.
Enagbare was the 9th ranked edge in the Cheesehead TV draft guide and 52nd on the PFF draft big board (his 92.5 pass rush grade was PFF’s highest in the SEC since 2018). Many Packers fans mocked him to Green Bay in the second round in draft simulators prior to the draft. He certainly seems like a value as a fifth-round pick.
The drop is because of his relatively poor performance at the combine. Enagbare isn’t incredibly tall (6’3”) or heavy (258 lbs) for an edge and his only combine number over 60th percentile was the vertical jump. Like Smith, he was able to produce pressure in college with technique and hand fighting – not with elite athleticism.
Enagbare’s other popular comp is Patriots d-lineman Deatrich Wise. Like Wise and Smith, you can expect Enagbare to move up and down the line to find favorable matchups. A third down line of Preston Smith/Wyatt/Clark/Enagbare/Gary will instill fear in any opposing offensive line. Each of those players is big and strong enough to stunt inside or set the pick for another player to stunt.
Additionally, Enagbare, has the length and heavy hands to set the edge in the base defense early on. Don’t be surprised if he replaces Gary on some obvious run downs by the end of the season. Having Enagbare to stop the run will allow Gary to focus on rushing the passer on obvious pass downs. If Gary doesn’t have to worry about holding the edge, we don’t have to worry about him losing it.
Enagbare’s weakness, according to PFF, is playing in space and finishing plays. Don’t expect him to drop into curl/flat zones very often. That may still be Preston’s Smith’s responsibility in the base defense a lot of the time.
Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.