by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of The Clemson Wire.
The NFL Draft talk never ends, and we are here at Draft 412 in an effort to keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024, we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Clemson, Safety, Andrew Mukuba
Name- Andrew Mukuba
HT/WT- 6’0” 185 lbs.
Home – Harare, Zimbabwe
Mukuba was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, as his parents and older siblings were all refugees of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He immigrated to Austin, Texas and was given asylum when he was 9 years old.
With a four-star rating by both ESPN.com and 247Sports, Mukuba starred on both sides of the ball for Lyndon B. Johnson High School in Texas where he was named the District Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. He committed to Clemson on September 1st and was called “his first COVID recruit” by Dabo Sweeney.
Mukuba was a Freshman All-American selection by the Maxwell Football Club, FWAA, 247Sports, The Athletic, PFF, and ON3 Sports and earned ACC Freshman Defensive Player of the Year. He started 10 of the 13 games, collecting 54 tackles, a sack, nine pass breakups, and a fumble recovery.
Mukuba’s sophomore season wasn’t quite as dazzling, but it was a solid campaign in its own right. He made 11 starts and had 50 tackles, one interception, and four pass breakups while making one start at cornerback.
Mukuba is an athletic safety that has cornerback speed, and the athleticism to make big plays. He reads the quarterback's eyes well and takes away routes effectively. For a safety, his movements are fluid and his feet are quick, allowing him to cover one-on-one in most matchups. He tracks the ball well, much like a wide receiver, and does a good job of timing his deflections.
Mukuba has a lean build, but has the frame to add muscle and strength. He’s a good run stopper who can put big hits on ball carriers. He takes the right angles in pursuit and does a good job of using the sideline to his advantage.
On the downside, Mukuba’s aggressiveness gets him in trouble, biting on play action which allows him to be beaten overtop from time to time. He’s also been sloppy with penalties, and had some pass interference issues during the past season from being beat on play action. Lastly, he does a good job tackling in a crowd but can struggle at times making tackles in space.
Antoine Winfield Jr. would be a nice NFL comparison for Andrew Mukuba if he can add 10-15 lbs. to his frame. The aggressiveness and big play abilities are there.
Speed of a cornerback
Fluid and quick feet
Versatility in coverage
Overly aggressive at times
Tackling in space
Needs to add weight/ muscle
Mukuba can easily be the first safety off the board with another stellar year in 2023. Scouts and coaches alike will be watching his progression, wondering if he will find the discipline to eliminate some of the unnecessary penalties. Watch out if he adds the muscle.
Draft 412- DRAFT PROJECTION- Late 1st/ 2nd round