Ezukanma, Deaton headed to AFC


See which Texas Tech products were selected on Day 3 of the NFL draft:

Erik Ezukanma, WR

Drafted in Round 4, pick No. 125 by the Miami Dolphins

Despite battling a suspected injury throughout the season, Ezukanma had his best campaign as a Red Raider last year. In 2021, Ezukanma totaled 705 receiving yards and four touchdowns. The Keller Timber Creek product showed his versatility through his usage out of the backfield, being used in Jet Sweep and handoffs. Ezukanma also totaled 138 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 2021.

In 2020, Ezukanma finished top-50 among all FBS players in receiving yards (31st), receiving touchdowns (47th) and receiving yards per game (49th).

In 34 career games at Texas Tech, Ezukanma caught 138 passes for 2165 yards and 15 touchdowns. He ended his Red Raider career as the team’s leading receiver for three straight seasons — the first Texas Tech receiver to do so since 1987. He’s also one of only 15 Texas Tech receivers since 2000 to have at least 2000 career receiving yards.

At 6-foot-3, Ezukanma’s frame will make him a consistent threat on the outside in the league. Ezukanma’s release also allows him to quickly create separation on the outside and make big plays downfield.

Dawson Deaton, C

Drafted in Round 7, pick No. 246 by the Cleveland Browns

Deaton was an Iron Man of sorts for the Red Raiders throughout his career, making himself available any given Saturday. Deaton started in 35 games and played 2694 snaps in four seasons for the Red Raiders.

Pro Football Focus rated him as Texas Tech’s best offensive lineman last season, grading out at 72.6 in pass protection and 67.5 in rush protection. His 2021 campaign earned him All-Big 12 second-team status, marking the third time in his career that he was selected to an All-Big 12 team.

Deaton participated in the 2022 NFL scouting combine, where he logged a 5.12 40-yard dash time and 7.52 cone drill. Deaton has a unique build for a center, standing at 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds. His lengthy stature could make him a more effective base blocker at the NFL level. Deaton is noticeably athletic for his position, allowing him to identify and block delayed blitzes or moving linebackers.

Before his time at Texas Tech, Deaton starred at Frisco High School, helping power a rushing offense that averaged 333 yards per game during his senior season in 2016.

The road to becoming a starting center in the NFL is difficult, but Dawson’s rare frame and build will make him an important depth piece for the Browns.

DeMarcus Fields, CB

Undrafted free agent, signed by the New Orleans Saints

After completing his super-senior campaign, Fields enters the league with a depth of experience. Fields ended his Texas Tech career with 224 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, four forced fumbles and 45 passes defended. His 45 career passes defended were the most over a Texas Tech career since 2000. The 45 passes defended were second most among active FBS players at the conclusion of his career.

Fields was one of only three Texas Tech players to be invited to the combine, joining Ezukanma and Deaton who were drafted on Saturday. Fields has a knack for drifting to ball carriers and making strong tackles. He’s also a reliable corner in coverage, despite the four interceptions in five seasons.

Jonathan Garibay, K

Undrafted free agent, signed by the Dallas Cowboys

Garibay has a professional-level leg. In his senior season, he made 14-of-15 field goal attempts and 49-of-50 PATs. The kicker was so reliable he finished top-50 in scoring per game among all FBS players last season. His accuracy and consistency was an asset for the Red Raiders, but his legend status was achieved in a familiar moment.

Against Iowa State, Garibay drilled a 62-yard field goal to win the game for Texas Tech and secure bowl eligibility. It was the longest game-winning field goal in FBS history. It was also the third-longest field goal in FBS since 1988. With the Cowboys still reeling from the struggles of Greg Zuerlein last season, Garibay should provide some much needed relief.

Kaylon Geiger, WR

Undrafted free agent, signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Texas Tech will sorely miss Geiger’s presence in the offense. In his singular season as a Red Raider, Geiger totaled 533 receiving yards on 44 catches. He ended the year with only one touchdown, but the value he provided went far beyond the box score.

Geiger is known for speeding, seeing plenty of action on screens and out of the back field. He plays bigger than the 5-foot-10 he’s listed at, making it possible to put him anywhere on the line. The Buccaneers have added a player who’s experienced, yet still seems to have untapped potential at his position after only three collegiate seasons.


Texas Tech Red Raiders new head football coach Joey McGuire is pictured in their indoor...

Find more Texas Tech coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.


Source link