PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 17: Jermaine Eluemunor #65 of the New England Patriots looks on after the game Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 17, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jermaine Eluemunor, OG/OT
Eluemunor has taken one of the more unique roads to the NFL and for the life of me I can’t figure out why there isn’t more hype around him. Eluemunor is originally from North London and came to the United States when he was just fourteen years old. He got a late start in football and began his collegiate career at Lackawanna College (Juco). He transferred from Lackawanna as a four-star recruit and chose Texas A&M. It wasn’t until his senior season that he cracked the starting lineup there, starting twelve of their thirteen games-three at right guard and nine at right tackle.
For an inexperienced prospect, Eluemunor did gain some traction in the draft process. That was partly due to his impressive showing at the combine where he completed 34 bench reps and ran a 5.22 40 yd dash at 332 lbs. He finished ranked #120 on the consensus big board-offensive tackle #7. Here is what Lance Zierlein had to say about him:
"“Got a late start in the sport and his football intelligence can suffer at times because of it. Eluemunor’s girthy frame and core strength are two big check marks for his move inside to guard. Despite his weight, he is light on his feet and can handle zone blocking responsibilities or can pull for teams looking to utilize him in power. Eluemunor is still considered a developmental prospect, but his size and strength could make him an eventual starter in time.” -Lance Zierlein @ NFL.com"
Eluemunor was drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft. He saw some playing time his rookie campaign and was voted to the 2017 PFWA all-rookie team. Though in 2018 Baltimore waived him and then resigned him to the practice squad before promoting him to the active roster later in the season. In 2019 the New England Patriots traded a 4th round selection for Eluemunor and a 6th round pick.
In 2019, Eluemunor didn’t see much playing time, but he came into 2020 as the starter at right tackle. For the first three games of 2020, it seemed like he had finally began to reach his potential when some untimely physical ailments popped up. He missed their week 4 game against Kansas City and upon returning against Denver following their week 5 bye, Eluemunor injured his ankle and hit the IR. Prior to his injury, Eluemunor was the 6th highest graded tackle according to PFF and the 7th most valuable right tackle according to SIS Data Hub Pro.
"“He’s [Eluemunor] definitely meant a lot. Him being out there, he’s one of our guys and losing him is big, but it’s just how it’s been all year. It’s a next man up thing,” -Isaiah Wynn via Andrew Callahan @ The Boston Herald"
This is admittedly a small sample size, but is more impactful because he was bounced between right and left tackle upon returning. Moving from right to left tackle isn’t an easy thing to do mid-season and I believe those first three games showcased what Eluemunor is capable of when he’s set up for success.
Some film from Eluemunor’s impressive 2020 start
What to expect
Jermaine Eluemunor could push for starting reps at multiple positions. He has experience at guard and tackle and really doesn’t have any glaring weakness to his game. If an injury pops up or one of Miami’s presumptive starters isn’t as effective as they’d hoped, Eluemunor should be the next man up.