Undrafted free agent and former Alabama offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor Jr. will try to secure a spot on the Indianapolis Colts’ roster with a strong preseason. Despite going undrafted, Ekiyor possesses the skills, work ethic, and intangibles that could make him a valuable asset to the Colts.
Ekiyor’s collegiate career at the University of Alabama showcased his potential and versatility. He played both right guard and center for the Crimson Tide, starting in more than 40 games over three years. All the while, he excelled in a high-pressure environment and was a crucial part of a dominant offensive line. Ekiyor’s experience and strong performance earned him First-Team All-SEC recognition in 2022, and there’s no question his time at Alabama has prepared him well for the professional level.
At 6-foot-3 and 324 pounds, Ekiyor makes up for his lack of ideal size with impressive athleticism, agility, and quickness. His polished technique, hand placement, footwork, and leverage make him a formidable force on the offensive line. He’s a physical player, too—a blocker who is always looking to put opposing pass-rushers and run-stoppers into the ground. Combined with that aforementioned agility, Ekiyor consistently found ways to win at the point of attack.
The Colts’ offensive line presents an excellent opportunity for Ekiyor’s development. Learning from veteran leaders like Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly—two of the best interior offensive linemen in the NFL—will help him refine his technique and become a valuable asset at the next level. As things stand now, Nelson and Kelly are set to return as starters alongside right guard Will Fries. Fries, a former seventh-rounder, has been alright as a starter but needs some significant work as a pass-blocker in particular. Ekiyor could represent an upgrade in that department as a blocker that was effective in pass protection during his time at Alabama, and he’d receive some valuable aid in his development from Nelson and Kelly despite going undrafted.
Indianapolis needs to prioritize building depth across their roster, particularly on the offensive line with a rookie quarterback set to take over under center in 2023. That makes Ekiyor’s versatility and ability to play multiple positions on the offensive line attractive. Having a reliable backup who can seamlessly fill in when needed is crucial. So even if Ekiyor is unable to crack the starting roster initially—a tall ask for any undrafted free agent—he could still make the 53-man squad as valuable depth.
Emil Ekiyor’s skills, work ethic, and versatility make him a promising candidate for the Colts’ roster. With the right guidance and opportunity—both of which he should have in Colts training camp—he could become a significant contributor on the team’s offensive line.
- Sep 29, 2023
- Sep 29, 2023