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Kingsley Keke | Defensive End | Texas A&M | 6'3" - 293 lbs.

Potentially polarizing prospect as some teams could struggle with his best fit in the league. With his athletic ability and functional strength, a role as base in a 4-3 scheme with the ability to reduce inside is most likely. One-gapping 3-4 defenses could target him as well, but he'll need to add aggressiveness at the point of attack for that role. Keke could step into an early backup spot, but he possesses enough natural ability to aim for an eventual starter or designated rusher role.

  • Dropped 20 pounds and showed ability to transition from tackle to end
  • Fluid, impressive athlete for a big man
  • Can play light on his feet to mirror and pursue change of direction
  • Upper-body power to punch and press tackles off of him
  • Adequate balance and body control through contact
  • Strength to reduce inside and manage against power
  • Springy lateral quickness to disengage and make sudden tackles near his gaps
  • Flashes some explosiveness and stride length out of stance as upfield as a rusher
  • Shows adequate dip to sink under and trim the edges
  • Unleashes basketball euro-step as interior rusher to throw guards off-balance and open his edge
  • Quick to recognize and close out screen passes.

  • Needs to supplement upper-body power with stronger base
  • Legs lack some proportion and girth
  • Needs more urgency to attack and shed blocks
  • Inconsistent charge as upfield rusher
  • Full potential as rusher not always on display
  • Defaults to bull-rush strategy despite his athletic qualities
  • Uses basic swipe that fails to punish blocker's initial punch
  • Hands are too passive and could benefit from more violence and quickness

Pre-Draft Analysis
Keke is a versatile defensive lineman with excellent length. He shoots his hands inside and stacks offensive tackles. He flashes the ability to win with quickness when he lines up on the inside. He is athletic enough to develop into an effective interior pass-rusher.
"Well, they might kill you, but they won’t eat you." Uncle Teddy
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Get-off/Burst - Despite his athletic gifts, not a very explosive player. Can be late off the ball at times and does his best work after his first step as a pass rusher. Takes several strides to get to top speed and may lack the twitch to be an effective penetrating one-gap defender.

Leverage - Plays way too high and struggles to control space as a result. Too easily knocked off balance and uprooted by physicality and technique. Loses power due to upright playing position, gets washed out of gaps and can't utilize hands as effectively. Double teams = game over. Has the flexibility to play lower, needs to maintain lower center of gravity.

Hand Usage - Not where you'd want it to be for a senior, but flashes of violent hand usage that show what could be. Doesn't consistently lock out at the point of attack and struggles to work off contact as a result. Body-to-body a lot in the trenches, makes him easier to control. Has shown a nasty cross-chop, long arm and rip move as a rusher before. Push-pulled tight ends around when they were assigned to him.

Rush Plan/Counters - A go-to interior pass rusher on long and late situations. Has great change-of-direction and will use stutter steps to cross the face of blockers and attack their edge. Pad level allows him to get locked down too easily, can expose a ton of surface area. Not good enough at protecting his frame and staying clean on a consistent basis. Odd player, will slow-play several rushes with no real plan, then all of a sudden pull out a speed-to-spin rush with a crushing icepick. He has moves, just wish he used them more and deployed them quicker.

Mental Processing/Block Recognition - Slow to string moves together and recognize opportunities for counters as a pass rusher. Plays as an edge often, stepped down when unblocked and forced runners to bounce gaps. Can be slow to find the ball at times. When they play him at nose tackle, fails to split double teams effectively and can get bodied off the ball.

Range - Takes a few steps to get to top speed, but chases down ball carriers at the perimeter and has good wheels for the position. When he finds the ball early and gets clean, capable of making plays away from his gap.

Bend/Flexibility - If he is indeed 300 pounds, you simply don't see many players his size bend the way Keke does. Played on the edge a lot, and while he isn't explosive enough to stay there in the NFL, showed the ability to bend at the hips and dip under contact to the pocket. Even from a 3-technique spot, showed he could rip through punches and turn tightly to the quarterback, not getting run up the arc. Gave Greg Little a good game.

Tackling - Has missed a couple tackles despite good form. May leave his feet a little too early when he could run through contact. Has good length and can bring runners down outside his frame. Ability to make plays in space is a big plus.

Competitive Toughness - No issues here. I've seen him chase down screens. Doesn't have an insane motor, but plays hard and is considered a leader on that defense.

Athleticism/Size - Listed size and length are outstanding, has an unusual, fairly narrow frame without a lot of bad weight. Is he really 305? Looks more like 285 or 290, which is still fine. Athletically unique, appears to have really impressive flexibility, but how he tests in the jumps and 10-yard split will be important to measure his seemingly absent explosiveness.

BEST TRAIT - Bend/Flexibility

WORST TRAIT - Leverage


Kingsley Keke is one of the oddest players I've ever scouted. On one hand, he has wild flexibility and bend for an interior defensive lineman, capable of contorting his body to reduce his surface area while cornering some tough angles to the pocket. On the other hand, he's not explosive at all and takes several steps to get to top speed. He has some terrific rush moves, but he's slow to deploy them at times and doesn't finish as often as you'd like to see.

Also, I can never remember which part of his name comes first and which comes second. Also, Drake wrote a song about him, if I recall correctly.

I think Keke has some awesome traits to work with, but he may be at his best as a long/late downs interior rusher due to his lack of leverage and hand usage in the run game. He's capable of potentially wearing a lot of hats and being a Deatrich Wise-like player, but I would love to see more consistency in his areas of strength. As a late call up to the Senior Bowl, the stage is huge for him to capture the attention of scouts in Mobile and potentially put his name in the Top 100 conversation.

Round Grade: 4th

"Well, they might kill you, but they won’t eat you." Uncle Teddy
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Hand Technique/Length – He's got great length and when he flashes his hands he can really illustrate impressive separation and ability to win early in reps. Issues arise because he's not consistent with hand usage and too often looks to bully with power instead of hand counters.

Competitive Toughness – He's pretty lackadaisical off the back end of plays and is quick to give up in his pursuit. Doesn't really hold his ground all that well against power blockers and double teams. He'll get his pads ridden up and lose leverage at the POA.

Two Gap Ability – He has the length and the intermittent flash to offer hope that he could get there some day. But he's not stout enough with his anchor, not effective enough in quick block deconstruction and he's generally not savvy enough to process and anticipate blocks.

Gap Penetration Skills – Has not had a fruitful career of making plays in the backfield but he does have the mobility and flexibility to drop an inside shoulder and reduce surface area to run through contact. He's not overly sudden but if aligned right in the gap he can push through the gap.

Tackling – Long arms aid him in efforts to reach and grab at any part of the ball carrier, he does offer a good tackle radius and the body contortion skills to get himself extended. He's got enough redirection, especially as a B-gap defender, to react as he plays square to the LOS.

Flexibility – Really impressive overall body control for a big dude. He'll twist and contort himself through spaces well and has impressive results looking to get skinny through gaps or collect himself and redirect as he pushes through a gap up front.

Pass Rush Counters – He's not overly nuanced here and likes to try to bull rush blockers backwards. Had some success (Auburn) in doing so but otherwise he's slow to react to openings and creases up front, instead loops away from contact looking for a cheap clean-up.

First Step Quickness – He's the last one out of his stance with too much frequency. Can be late to react and on top of that he's very lethargic trying to roll through the corner. Other times, when he's pressing, he can offer some good looks on the interior.

Feet/Change Of Direction – Does not have a lot of explosiveness in lateral situations, he's pretty pedestrian when he's needing to plant and drive or collect his balance. He'll make looping turns instead to settling down and driving off a single stride to get going the opposite way.

Versatility – Bit of a tweener. Played some tackle and then dropped weight to play DE in 2018. He's better off in the B-gap, where some athletic limitations will be mitigated but he'll have a chance to still flash his flexibility and surface reduction in an attack role and bend to target.


WORST TRAIT – Competitive Toughness

BEST FILM – Auburn (2018)

WORST FILM – North Carolina State (2018)


Kingsley Keke is a frustrating study, he clearly has some physical tools at his disposal that could make him a potent weapon up front. But his consistency, technique and football IQ all appear to be lacking, often leaving him stuck dancing with blockers and unable to generate consistent pressure or penetration. There are simple, easy fixes that could help Keke reach his potential, but the fact that he hasn't mastered some of them yet are cause for concern. A high upside, low floor pick.

Round Grade - Fifth Round

"Well, they might kill you, but they won’t eat you." Uncle Teddy
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Run Defense - Inconsistency with leverage causes issues at the point of attack for him to remain in his run fits. Sets firm edges when he get his hands placed and arms extended. Bit of a tweener that could struggle to anchor against NFL interior offensive linemen on the interior.

Pass Rush - Blend of burst, length and flexibility gives him some upside. Has some exciting reps on tape where he uses his length to soften his turn at the top of the arc and shows off rare fluidity to corner for his size. While need to execute his rush quicker on the interior at the next level, especially unleashing his counters. Needs to develop a consistent pass rush plan.

Effort - Plays with good effort on every snap but his urgency can be expedited. Hands are busy to clear himself from blocks and he’ll make plays on secondary effort. Pursuit effort does not often disappoint.

Hand Technique - Would love to see him play with more consistent extension but the flashes are present. Has showcases a variety of moves and counters but timing and stringing together his attack needs improvement.

Flexibility - Really impressive for his size. Is able to carry impressive speed through tight angles and corner. Fluid change of direction ability. Needs to tape into his fluidity and do more with his upper body to diminish surface area.

Play Strength - Robs himself of functional strength by not playing with consistent leverage. Tall at the point of attack leads to inconsistent gap integrity. Stronger in his upper body than in the lower half.

Play Speed - IDs blocks quickly but needs to attack more urgently. Long strides eat up the arc but his get off is more gradual.

Lateral Movement - Easy mobility in lateral pursuit. Love his ability to work back across his frame and spring in the opposite direction. Changes directions fluidly with good pursuit speed to the sidelines and from the backside.

Versatility - Has some appeal working inside and outside in even fronts as both a pass rusher and run defender. Has the length needed to two-gap but lacks the anchor to consistently anchor.

BEST TRAIT - Flexibility

WORST TRAIT - Leverage


Keke blossomed as a senior and features an appealing blend of length, flexibility and athleticism. He has potential to lineup both inside and on the edge in even fronts with play making upside against the run and pass. In order for Keke to reach his potential, more urgency with his hands and playing with better leverage will be essential. As it stands, Keke has rotational upside and could be a standout situational rusher with more coaching.

Round Grade - Fourth Round Value

"Well, they might kill you, but they won’t eat you." Uncle Teddy
Being forced to watch A&M ( along with Baylor and Miss St) with Family, I remember this cat was disruptive at times... found this interesting.

PFF - Steals of the Draft 2019 


Keke played a tad out of position at Texas A&M, where he took 62.2% of his snaps lined up over or outside the tackle. At 288 pounds, he realistically translates best to three-technique or interior rusher at the next level. And in that role, he dominated at the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile. He had the highest win rate and highest grade among all defensive linemen in attendance in the one-on-ones.

"The oranges are dry; the apples are mealy; and the papayas... I don't know what's going on with the papayas!"
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