Kene Nwangwu NFL Draft Overview
Position: Running back
School: Iowa State University
Kene Nwangwu 2021 NFL Draft Profile
With just weeks left before the start of the NFL Draft, Iowa State running back Kene Nwangwu is starting to gain some hype. This is in large part to his 4.32 40-yard dash at his pro day in late March. Playing at 210 pounds and this kind of speed has elevated Nwangwu’s draft profile in the recent weeks. Nwangwu’s work on special teams will also elevate his draft stock. Teams need players who can play multiple positions late in the NFL draft. Nwangwu was a very successful kickoff return specialist in college. He also played some on kickoff defense. A player with this size, speed, and versatility will garner attention for teams looking to fill out their rosters in 2021.
Kene Nwangwu had a limited workload throughout his collegiate career after sitting behind talented running backs David Montgomery and Breece Hall. After the 2016 season, Nwangwu was being watched by those around the Big-12 but an injury in 2017 cost him most of the season. After returning from this injury he saw limited action at running back due to Montgomery. Nwangwu stayed with the team and contributed any way he could, ultimately becoming the primary backup for Iowa State in 2020. He was named to the Fourth Team All American team in 2020 for his kick returning. Nwangwu’s rushing attempts did grow in 2020. He rushed 61 times on the year, scoring four touchdowns and averaging 5.6 yards per carry. His receptions were very limited at only three on the year. His kick returning showed his speed, with a long of 85 yards on the season and 550 yards total.
- Speedy runner with big play potential;
- Has experience returning kicks and could earn a Day 1 spot in that role;
- Explosive player that can take it to the house every time he touches the ball;
- Versatile running back that can handle multiple duties;
- Good balance – hard to knock down.
- Limited route running;
- Pass blocking has a long way to go;
- Untested in prime collegiate action;
- Not a good short-yardage runner;
NFL Comparison: Jordan Wilkins
Projection: Day 3, Round 5-7
Last Word on Kene Nwangwu
It is hard to project a player like Kene Nwangwu. He was probably not on most teams radar until his pro day in late March. Teams likely are now looking at the versatility, size, and speed that he displayed at Iowa State, albeit in limited action. Nwangwu’s pass blocking will likely lead to some issues for teams as well as his inexperience at playing running back. Making up for this will be his special teams play. He can play both ways on special teams and showed his explosiveness at Iowa State in kick returns. Kene Nwangwu is one of those players that could explode in the NFL given the opportunity due to his explosiveness but limited college touches.
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