Ifeanyi Maijeh, Rutgers DT | NFL Screening Report
Since 2010, Rutgers has had just 18 players drafted into the NFL, with no selection in the last two classes. However, times are changing under Greg Schiano. Defensive tackle Ifeanyi Maijeh is a legitimate 2022 NFL Draft perspective. The Temple DT transfer is coming to Piscataway with a growing reputation, but what does Maijeh’s screening report reveal about his potential to play to the next level?
Ifeanyi Maijeh NFL Draft Profile
- Position: defensive tackle
- School: Rutgers
- Current year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’2 ″
- Weight: 280 lbs
Ifeanyi Maijeh Recognition Report
New Rutgers DT Ifeanyi Maijeh is already on the radar as a 2022 NFL Draft prospect. Having recently been named to the Senior Bowl Watchlist, their team of scouts will be watching him closely for his appearance in the college football’s first all-star game. Its screening report reveals impressive benefits to back up its reputation.
Maijeh has been praised for her athleticism since high school, and with a glance at her tape, it’s easy to see why. The Temple transfer displays quick footwork on the line of scrimmage, giving it an exceptional blast. He also has fantastic lateral agility, allowing him to cut in and shoot through holes or move seamlessly across the line of scrimmage.
In addition to her ability to penetrate with athletic abilities, Maijeh can get lean to glide through doubles teams. There have been several examples of him squeezing between blockers to enter the backfield in the plays studied.
Although he can disrupt athletics, Maijeh also shows great playing strength. He regularly imposes his will on offensive linemen. I have witnessed several times where he brought his man back in the quarterback.
He can convert speed to power, bull rush and has several pass-rush moves in his toolbox. Plus, he combines these attributes with a formidable drive and impressive length to be a disruptive force on the inside defensive line.
Areas of improvement
While Maijeh’s screening report shows attractive potential, there are areas for improvement.
Right now it really feels like a work in progress. His athletic ability is there, and he has pass-rush weapons at his disposal. The Rutgers DT should now put everything together cohesively.
When his initial pass-rush move doesn’t win, can he incorporate counters into his game? Can he disengage blocks with manual labor a little faster? Can he read the game a little faster? These are all things I would like to see him demonstrate this fall.
One potential issue for NFL teams will be the injury history. Now Maijeh hasn’t run out of time with an injury yet. However, he played injured last season, and that obviously had an impact on his game. During training camp at Rutgers, it was reported that he was suffering from a “lower body” injury. It might not be a problem, but it’s something to watch out for throughout the season.
Player profile ifeanyi Maijeh
Not all NFL Draft prospects start their journey as a five-star high school rookie. Coming out of Brooklyn Poly Prep, Maijeh earned a two-star rating from 247 Sports. Additionally, he was only considered the 126th defensive end on the weak side of the recruiting class of 2017.
As a result, the New York native saw little love for college programs. Heading into his senior season, he had only received one college offer, committing to New Hampshire in December 2016.
However, an impressive senior season has garnered interest from several top college programs. Maijeh led Poly Prep with 9 sacks and 7 tackles for a loss as he won first-team All-City honors and was named the Ivy League’s defensive MVP.
Although state interest came from Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights never made an offer. Therefore, he took his footballing skills to the tough Philadelphia school of Temple.
Listed at 220 pounds by the NCSA as a high school student, Maijeh had been an athletic defensive end and tight end for Poly Prep. To be successful at the college level, it would need a solid seasoning to meet the physical rigors posed by the increased level.
As a result, Maijeh redshirted his first season for the Owls. Even during his red shirt season, he saw limited action in a defensive front made up of Michael Dogbe and Quincy Roche.
Although their presence limited his chances, his game was honed by his exposure to future NFL players. The athletic defensive lineman scored a tackle on his debut against Boston College, added a tackle for a loss to East Carolina and finished the 2018 season strong with 2 tackles in the Independence Bowl clash with Duke.
Maijeh carried this momentum in a 2019 small group campaign
Temple DT secured their first career sack in the season opener against Bucknell. It was the first start of his career and the first of 12 in his sophomore season in a red shirt. He was named Chuck Bednarik’s National Defensive Player of the Week two weeks later, following a dominant performance in Maryland.
With a career-high 9 tackles against Cincinnati offering more highlights, Maijeh racked up 52 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble in 2019. Temple DT took home first team honors All-AAC, ending an exceptional season.
His performances in 2019 have earned him national and internal recognition ahead of the 2020 college football season. Maijeh has been named on the “watch lists” for top college football defensive awards, including Bednarik. Additionally, Temple honored him with a single-digit jersey for the season, illustrating his tenacity.
Sadly, 2020 wouldn’t measure up to 2019. Playing injured in a disrupted season, Maijeh has only registered 15 tackles in 7 games. Meanwhile, a forced fumble against Memphis and a tackle for the loss to East Carolina would sum up the highlights of 2020.
Will a move to Rutgers help boost Maijeh’s 2022 NFL Draft stockpile?
Graduated, Maijeh took the opportunity to switch to Owls at the end of the season. The Brooklyn native didn’t stay on the transfer portal for long. With ties to Rutgers, including defensive line coach Jim Panagos and star linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi (Maijeh’s cousin), a reunion with the team that wooed him in 2016 was quickly secured.
If Rutgers can unleash Maijeh’s potential starting in 2019, he will be a student in the NFL Draft 2022 class. He’s on the recently announced Senior Bowl watchlist, so he’s on the radar of Boy Scouts and analysts. In my most recent draft for Pro Football Network, the Rutgers DT were a fourth-round selection for the New England Patriots.