2022 NFL Draft: Nik Bonitto Scouting Report

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Nik Bonitto NFL Draft Overview

Position: Edge Rusher

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 250 lbs

40 Yard Dash: 4.54

3 Cone Drill: 7.07

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.23

Vertical Jump: 35.5

Broad Jump: 120

Nik Bonitto 2022 NFL Draft Profile

Bonitto’s career at Oklahoma began in 2018. He was redshirted only playing in three games. The next season he played in all 14 games, starting in the final eight. During the 2019 season, Bonitto racked up 43 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 6.5 tackles for loss. Bonitto also snagged one interception and broke up four passes.

Bonitto made a significant impact with the Sooners in 2019. He was consistently pressuring the backfield and played well in coverage. The former Sooner was even better in 2020 earning second-team All-American honors voted by the Associated Press. Oklahoma struggled with defensive consistency in multiple seasons during Bonitto’s tenure, but the future NFL pass rusher was always a consistent anchor for Alex Grinch and the Sooner defense.

Perhaps Bonitto’s biggest play of his career at Oklahoma came against Baylor in 2019. Oklahoma found themselves trailing against #13 ranked Baylor. Baylor jumped out to a huge lead 28-3 in the second quarter before the Sooners mounted an incredible comeback. Oklahoma outscored the Bears 31-3 from that point forward and 24-0 in the second half. The entire defense stepped up in the second half and it was Bonitto that came away with the game-sealing interception in the 4th quarter.

The edge rusher had his best season for the Sooners in 2021. He earned third-team All-American and second-team All-Big 12 leading Oklahoma with 39 tackles, 15 of them for loss. Bonitto was one of the stars for an improved Oklahoma defense under Grinch. The offense struggled and often leaned on the defense. Bonitto and others were able to hold teams defensive until the offense could get into a rhythm. Unfortunately, Bonitto opted to forgo his final Bowl game to prepare for the draft.

Strengths

  • Quickness: Speed rush to the backfield
  • Athleticism: Can cover as well as pursue the quarterback or stop the run
  • Quick to get off blocks
  • Versatile, can play multiple schemes
  • Edge speed for run control

Weaknesses

  • Can be redirected rather easy
  • Easily sealed
  • Smaller than average edge rushers

Teams With Need at Edge: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys

Prediction: 3rd Round

Bottom Line on Nik Bonitto

Bonitto is a quick, athletic edge rusher from Oklahoma University. He made an impact very quickly and became an essential cog in the Sooners defensive machine. Bonitto has the motivation and skill to make a starting roster and help an NFL team win games.

Bonitto will have multiple suitors as many teams have a significant need for an edge rusher. His quickness and nose for the backfield give Bonitto an opportunity to make the starting lineup as a rookie. Bonitto’s ability to get in the backfield could lead to a lot of playing time late in games as teams will look for a disruptive pass rusher during opposing teams’ two-minute drill.

Bonitto struggles with bigger defenders and is often sealed during run plays. He must learn from experience in the NFL in order to maintain gap integrity. However, his lack of awareness is alarming, which likely contributes to the reason Bonitto is projected to fall to the third day of the 2022 NFL Draft. Whichever NFL team takes a chance on the former Sooner is getting a premiere talent at a discounted price.

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