Though Prince Tega Wanogho did not participate at either the Reese’s Senior Bowl or, most recently, the NFL Scouting Combine, Buffalo Bills personnel still conversed with him at both events. Wanogho, a three-year starter at left tackle for Auburn, has had a rough start to the draft season dealing with knee swelling in Mobile and a foot injury that kept him out of the Scouting Combine.
His personal workout day is scheduled for April.
Wanogho’s status is well documented due to his high level of play but also because of his journey.
Growing up with eight siblings in Nigeria, Wanogho was already set up for a team atmosphere. He grew up playing soccer and basketball while also spending many hours in the pool. With an opportunity to play American sports at the high school level, he earned a basketball scholarship to Edgewood Academy (Alabama) with football as an afterthought.
Though lettering in multiple sports in high school, the biggest athletic upside was football. His football career began on the defensive line in which he was labeled a three-star prospect. As Auburn offered him a scholarship, a transition to offensive line was on the docket. With an opportunity in the offensive tackle room, Wanogho took advantage of the opportunity. He played in 10 games as a reserve swing tackle his redshirt freshman season, then started seven games at left tackle in 2017. He started all 13 in 2018 and played and started in 12 games in 2019 earning second-team All-SEC honors.
Wanogho’s athleticism is the immediate attraction point. Starting with a well-built top half and burly, tree trunk legs, he moves cleanly with little hitch when moving laterally. The projected Day 2 pick’s feet don’t go unnoticed as he embraces his foot quickness with easy movement in his kick slides showing the capability to catch most outside rushers. Despite his foot quickness and mobility, he tends to react late which requires him to play rushed and sloppy. His kick slide can be out-of-sync, though the movement skills are present.
From 2018 season but still showcases his footwork and athleticism.
— Christian Page (@_ChristianPage) August 4, 2019
Whether it’s immediate range to supply ample length and extension, or when moving upfield, Wanogho showcases sticky ability to locate and fire away into his assignment. He does a great job of letting opponents know he is there by quickly swatting away their pass-rush plan or stagnating them in their tracks.
However, the biggest gripes come with lack of block sustainability. Wanogho has a knack for hitting his target with an incredible jolt, but his lack of continuation to stay glued is puzzling. Sometimes it simply looks as he is just going through the motions by getting his job done, but could’ve been performed more profoundly.
Wanogho’s upside is tremendous, especially given his brief career in football. Despite concerns of his 33 1/2-inch arms, he does show the ability to reach and strike his matchup with enough extension to shield. His overall grip strength, or ability to sustain, is concerning but the promise is there with glimpses of potential. Showing the tools to get the job done is all in the making when it comes to his evaluation. Piecing it together to make for a home-run prospect is the question.
Wanogho’s duty as a blindside protector at Auburn was a job well done. The 2018 graduate did an admirable job at not allowing traffic to the pocket. His natural athleticism partnered with ascension in technique on a year-to-year basis, oozes with intrigue.
On the surface, offensive tackle doesn’t seem to be a primary need for Buffalo. But, it is something that needs to be addressed in the draft. Dion Dawkins is in the last year of his rookie deal with contract decisions looming as you read this. Cody Ford may not be a long-term answer on the right side though potential is shown. With a franchise player at quarterback, a stable RB1 and a capable receiving unit, the offensive line needs to be sured up before Buffalo can continually take leaps forward.