The first Tar Heel in this NFL Draft is off the board and it’s not who we expected, as the New York Giants have taken Joshua Ezeudu in the 3rd round with the 67th overall pick (3rd pick in the round). Ezeudu was a 3-year starter for the Heels before leaving for the Draft following his redshirt junior season, and now he’ll head to New York for the next stage of his career.
In Ezeudu’s final season, when he was voted team captain to start the year, he was honorable mention All-ACC at guard and named to the conference’s All-Academic Team while being the clear best offensive lineman for an offense that was top-15 in the country in nearly every metric - 9th in SP+, 10th in total offense, 7th in yards per play, 7th in yards per rush. He had a letdown of a final game with the offense being stymied against South Carolina in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, but had a good enough season to show himself off as an NFL-caliber lineman.
Ezeudu is the 9th interior offensive lineman off the board, after a first round where four were taken and a Day 2 that saw a late mini-run but ultimately not many taken. He’ll be able to fit in immediately at either guard position and play either tackle side in a pinch, at the very least, though the Giants have recently invested quite a bit of draft capital at both tackle spots. I wouldn’t rule out his being taught to play center if his team needs it, either, though he’s probably a little oversized for it. Our draft profile for Ezeudu can be found here.
Congrats to Joshua, and we wish him the best as his professional career begins!