Erik Ezukanma Is Proving Himself Early in the NFL
Ja'Marr Chase won Rookie of the Year in 2021 after an unbelievable season in Cincinnati. The year before Justin Jefferson got second in voting behind Justin Jefferson of Minnesota. Can Miami Dolphins wide receiver Erik Ezukanma be the next WR to finish in the top three or win OROY?
Both Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase walked onto rosters where they were the clear number one target for a pass-heavy offense. Ezukanma on the other hand joins Tyreek Hill and second-year player Jaylen Waddle as the team's third option. That's if you're saying he's beaten out Cedrick Wilson and ahead of tight end Mike Gesiki on the totem pole.
Ezukanma's first preseason game was mostly uneventful against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his second one was his breakout party for the Dolphins coaching staff. For most of the first half of his playing time, the quarterbacks were missing badly. Not even close. At one point, Ezukanma burnt his defender to a crisp and the ball was thrown to the west coast from Miami.
But when fellow Big 12 rookie Skylar Thompson came in, the pair began to shine.
They doubled down with this beauty.
All told, Ezukanma had six catches for 114 yards. He might have had 9 catches for 150 yards and a TD if his quarterbacks had gotten the ball to him. The coaching staff has been raving about him, including his wide receivers coach, Wes Welker.
For his efforts in Week 2, Ezukanma was graded out by PFF as the best WR of the preseason for that time frame. Generally, I'd argue that PFF is worthless, but this makes EZ look good so I'll go with it.
If Ezukanma can get in some three-receiver sets with both Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle on the field with him, there will be plenty of space for the rookie to get open. He won't get the target volume of a number one option to win any rewards, but he might win a couple of fantasy matchups.