Egbule prepped at North Shore High School where was a First-Team All-District tight end. After a standout career, he was only regarded as a two-star recruit coming out of high school. That didn’t stop him from heading to a well-respected program program in Houston and making an impact for the team from his very first year on campus.
As a true freshman, Egbule was mainly a special teams contributor while rotating in sparingly on defense. In his first collegiate campaign, he recorded 11 tackles, one tackle-for-loss, and a single sack with a fumble recovery. As a sophomore, he earned the first five starts of career while playing in all 13 games. He totaled 20 stops, a pass breakup, and fumble returned for his first career touchdown.
His first full season as a starter came in 2017 when he got the nod in all 12 games. He finished with 60 total tackles, a career-high 6.5 tackles-for-loss, a pair of sacks, and another recovered fumble. He started every game in 2018 en route to setting a career-high with 69 tackles, 5.5 for loss, two sacks, his first two interceptions, seven pass breakups (led all AAC linebackers), two forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries with one more being returned for a touchdown.
At the 2019 NFL Combine, Egbule showed some above-average athleticism, most notably with his 4.65 forty-yard dash time at 245 pounds. He also posted 20 reps on the bench press, was timed at 4.38 in the short shuttle and 7.38 in the 3-cone, with jumps of 33 inches in the vertical and 9’11 in the broad.
The Chargers eventually took Egbule in the sixth round of the 2019 draft. He went on to record just four tackles as a rookie and played mainly on special teams.
In his second year, Egbule played mostly on special teams once again but did see time on defense due to injuries. Against the Saints in week five, Egbule recorded a career-high three tackles during the team’s Monday Night Football appearance. This past season, Egbule saw time in just three games and finished with a career-low two tackles. Following the regular season finale, he signed a reserve/future contract on January 11th.
Years with team: 3
“Emeke Egbule signed a 1 year, $965,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $965,000. In 2022, Egbule will earn a base salary of $965,000, while carrying a cap hit of $965,000” - Spotrac.com
Egbule has always been a bit of a ‘tweener. Coming out of college, he said he modeled his game after Von Miller and Luke Kuechly. After not making much progress as an off-ball linebacker to begin his career, Egbule transitioned to the edge in his first year playing under Brandon Staley. His versatility to play several spots along the front seven has also done wonders in keeping him in Los Angeles despite the recent regime change last year.
This is ULTIMATE hustle from #51 Emeke Egbule filling in for Uchenna Nwosu. Forces 4th down and a FG to give Herbert his shot in overtime. pic.twitter.com/oz5BQwxJBa— Tyler Schoon (@tylerjschoon) October 14, 2020
In the NFL, you have to be a truly elite player to be successful fulfilling multiple roles. Guys like Derwin James are very rare and when you’re a jack-of-all trades, you’re also a master of none. Egbule essentially restarted his NFL career in year three by switching positions and his odds of making an impact are still low. As it stands, he’s still EDGE4 on the team behind Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, and Chris Rumph II. That’s not a bad place to be, but it’s hard to imagine Staley putting Egbule out there unless injuries forced his hand.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2022?
I believe Egbule will make the roster with one of the last few open spots. The team should keep four edge players and the only players he’ll have to compete against are Jamal Davis and UDFA Ty Shelby. Right now, I’m willing to bet Egbule’s experience will help him win a job out of the gate.