The Dolphins selected wide receiver Erik Ezukanma in the fourth round (125th overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft. Here are five things to know about the former Texas Tech Red Raider.
1. Texas Tech's Leading Receiver x3
Ezukanma finished his collegiate career as one of the most productive wide receivers in Texas Tech history. He led the team in receiving in each of his final three seasons, becoming the first Red Raider since Wayne Walker from 1985-87 to do that. He finished his career with 138 receptions for 2,165 yards (15.7 avg.) and 15 touchdowns.
2. Respect Earned
The coaches in the Big 12 Conference were big fans of Ezukanma, voting him to their All-Big 12 teams multiple times. As a sophomore in 2020, the coaches named him first-team all-conference after he caught 46 passes for 748 yards (16.3 avg.) and six touchdowns in Texas Tech's 10 games. As a junior in 2021, the coaches named Ezukanma second-team All-Big 12 after totaling 48 receptions for 705 yards (14.7 avg.) and four scores.
Ezukanma became the first Red Raider wide receiver to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors since Michael Crabtree in 2008 and the first to earn back-to-back all-conference nods since Crabtree in 2007-08.
It's not just opposing coaches whose respect he has earned but also his teammates. His peers elected him as one of three freshmen in the team's captain circle in 2019. Then his teammates named him a team captain again as a junior in 2021.
3. Size, Speed and Ball Skills
Draft analysts are high on Ezukanma and many list his best traits as his size, speed and ball skills.
After Miami's pick, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said: "They get a receiver with outstanding hands. He has some of the most incredible catches of anyone in this draft class."
And NFL.com's Lance Zierlein says this from his prospect report on Ezukanma: "He has enough speed to get down the field and challenge coverage while displaying an innate sense for protecting and finishing contested catches underneath."
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds in college, Ezukanma was also one of the largest receivers in this year's draft.
4. The First NFL Draft Pick from Timber Creek High School
Ezukanma burst onto the national scene as a junior at Timber Creek High School in Fort Worth, Texas when he totaled 1,447 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns in 2016. His efforts earned him first-team all-state honors.
He also became the first NFL player ever drafted from Timber Creek High School, a school that opened in 2009.
5. Early Mother's Day Gift
With Ezukanma's NFL dreams being realized, it's an early Mother's Day gift for his very special mother, Lawrette.
As Ezukanma explains in this piece from Texas Tech, Lawrette is a front-line nurse and has maintained a great attitude throughout everything life has thrown at her.
"She has single-handedly supported me and my six other siblings since we were young, working literally from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. as a nurse almost every day to support us," Ezukanma said.
He elaborated when asked about her by the South Florida media shortly after he was drafted.
"She is really the reason why I'm sitting right here today," he said. "I feel like without her, I couldn't have watched her work ethic and watch her grind. I feel like all of that grinding is instilled in me. I feel like that's why I'm here right now."