Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Lose Third Player in Three Days to the NFL Draft
For the fourth straight day, the Tar Heels had a player on the active roster announce their plans for their future on Monday evening. It all started on Friday when veteran defensive back Trey Morrison announced that he was entering the transfer portal after four years with the program. The headline of the weekend came on Saturday when Sam Howell announced that he was going to the NFL Draft after a legendary career at Carolina. Last night, Marcus McKethan also announced his pursuit of an NFL career after five seasons in Chapel Hill. On Monday, the Tar Heels found that another player will be foregoing his senior season in Chapel Hill for a shot at the NFL.
Earlier this evening, junior offensive guard Joshua Ezeudu announced that he will be pursuing an NFL career this offseason after spending four seasons with the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. Ezeudu made the announcement via a post on his social media accounts. He played in 35 games for the team in the past three seasons, starting 29 of those for the team. He has consistently graded out as the teams best offensive lineman in each of the past two seasons and has been the one steady member of an offensive line that has otherwise struggled. Ezeudu earned third team All-ACC honors in 2020 and followed that up with an All-ACC honorable mention this season to close out his career.
Ezeudu doesn’t appear on a ton of draft boards right now, but on the ones that he does appear on, he is consistently looked at as a borderline draftable player. His position flexibility could help him out here in terms of getting drafted, but the pre-draft process will be important for him.
Ezeudu becomes the third Tar Heel offensive line to forego the remainder of their eligibility to enter the 2022 NFL Draft, leaving the team to rebuild their offensive line this offseason. Corey Gaynor, the incoming transfer from Miami, looks set to take over at center meaning that Quiron Johnson and Brian Amderson, who have already announced they will be back, can be used elsewhere. Ed Montilus looks to be in good position to take over one of the guard spots, more than likely the left guard spot that he has had some solid success at the last couple of seasons as a part time starter and rotational option. Others who could get a look at guard are Jonathan Adorno, who’s seen some limited reps there in his first two seasons on campus, current true freshman Diego Pounds, who coming out of high school had a similar feel to Ezeudu when you watched his tape, and incoming true freshman Zach Rice. Regardless, this offensive line will have to be overhauled this offseason and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Ezeudu would have been a nice piece to rebuild around, though.