Following the team’s 2018 rookie mini-camp, Patrick Afriyie wound-up being one of just two signings from that week’s try-outs, the other being wide receiver Justice Liggins.
At 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds, Afriyie is a ‘tweener, finding himself listed as a defensive end despite being the same usual weight as middle linebacker Denzel Perryman. Nonetheless, the former Defensive Player of the Year in the Patriot League looks to be getting groomed to rush the passer from a three-point stance instead of his two-point from his college days.
In his final year of high-school, Afriyie didn’t necessarily stuff the stat sheet, but he definitely put together one of the more efficient seasons you’ll see, posting 25 tackles-for-loss and 11.5 sacks in just 30 total tackles.
During his time at Colgate, Afriyie was a three-time All-Patriot League selection who amassed 152 total tackles, 49.5 tackles-for-loss, and 26.5 sacks, good for second in school history. He was also named the team’s Hal Lahar award winner, which is given annually to the team’s defensive MVP.
Years with the team: 1
“Patrick Afriyie signed a 1 year, $495,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $495,000. In 2019, Afriyie will earn a base salary of $495,000, while carrying a cap hit of $495,000.” - Spotrac.com
Afriyie is the prototypical mold for the team’s LEO position, a player who is adept at rushing the passer but offers enough athleticism and versatility to drop into coverage and move around the defensive front.
Colgate’s head coach offered tremendous praise about Afriyie’s selflessness and high character, as well:
”As good of a player as he is, and he’s one of the best we’ve ever had – he’s getting a lot of looks from the NFL, for four years now he’s taken over games, he’s affected offenses with how they have to block him, he’s freed up other people to make plays – with all of that, he’s just as good if not better of a person. That’s the combination we look for. He’s a great leader and a great teammate.”
After posting over 19 sacks in his sophomore and junior seasons at Colgate, Afriyie only posted 2.5 sacks in his final year, starting all eight games he played in (missed three to injury).
He had the production for back-to-back years, garnering all the awards and accolades you’d expect. You just hope to see that consistency finish through the end of his career.
I’ve been skeptical of his size since the team signed him last year. He is roughly the same height and weight as Melvin Ingram, but I’m not sure how much of the same package he brings to the table. With the team utilizing Uchenna Nwosu in a variety of roles, including back-up reps at the LEO, I wonder if there is going to be much room for Afriyie to make an impact on this team.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2019
At this very moment, I don’t think Afriyie has a chance of making the final 53-man roster. The team doesn’t look like they’re going to keep more than three defensive ends (Bosa, Ingram, Rochell) and they’ll utilize Nwosu, James, and others along the line to mimic a defensive line rotation.
Fun Fact: Afriyie’s first job was cutting the grass on Colgate’s campus while he was playing football.