Philadelphia Eagles: Ugo Amadi is an interesting, mid-upside prospect

(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /

In case you haven’t heard, the Philadelphia Eagles have officially nipped the JJ Arcega-Whiteside experiment in the bud, shipping the former second-round pick out of Stanford back to the West Coast to become a member of the Seattle Seahawks.

Surely, for some, this news was met like Christmas in July… or at least Christmas in August, as even a position change couldn’t unlock the JJAW code and re-capture the potential many felt he held coming out of college. He was overplayed by pretty much every other member on the roster in 2021, and the mild intrigue surrounding the plus-blocker’s move to tight end was quickly washed away by a meh summer and non-existent preseason game against the New York Jets.

To trade JJAW away without releasing him outright is undoubtedly a win for the Eagles, even if it looks bad on Howie Roseman for making such a poor pick in the first place, but to actually get an asset back for his services? Well, that’s a borderline miracle.

So who is Ugo Amadi, the player Tom Pelissero only described as a DB? Well, let’s find out.

Ugo Amadi is an interesting depth safety for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Ugo Amadi was drafted 75 picks after JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the 2019 NFL Draft. A collegiate standout at Oregon who played all over Mark Helfrich/Mario Cristobal’s Ducks defense, PFF graded out Amadi as the 179th best prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft, which would put him in the early sixth round range, and’s Lance Zierlein wasn’t much higher on him either, ranking him a sixth-to-seventh round prospect.

And yet, whether due to his Pac-12 roots or the ease at which one can catch an Oregon game when living in the Pacific North, Pete Caroll saw something he liked in Amadi and opted to have his Seahawks draft the Nashville native in the fourth round ahead of Jarrett Stidham and six picks before the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Shareef Miller, the team’s lone miss from the 2019 NFL Draft.

Though Amadi didn’t play much as a rookie, logging just 76 snaps on defense, he was a fixture of the Hawks’ special teams unit and picked up 246 snaps on the third phase of play, good for the fourth-best mark on the team. From there, Amadi became more of a fixture of Seattle’s defense, playing 551 snaps with five starts in 2020 and 691 snaps with seven shots in 2021 both as a safety and at his “natural position”, slot cornerback. Amadi logged more snaps in 2021 than HAW did in all three of his initial NFL seasons, and considering the current state of the Eagles’ secondary, with their safety position light and their interior cornerback position potentially up in the air if Scott ends up playing meaningful minutes at either FS or SS, his addition at worst will serve as a challenge to the likes of Andre Chachere and Jaquiski Tartt for a bottom-of-the-roster utility spot.

Unfortunately, that worst-case scenario may ultimately prove not too different from his best-case scenario either, as Amadi struggled mightly in 2021 as a mostly slot cornerback, as he ranked 115th out of a possible 116 overall cornerbacks and was widely considered a candidate to be waived coming out of camp if he wasn’t traded. Who knows, maybe a change of scenery is all it will take for Amadi to find some consistency in his game, but for now, it’s by no means a guarantee that he’ll make the Eagles’ roster this fall, let alone play a meaningful role outside of special teams if he does.

Next. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside traded to Seattle Seahawks for Ugo Amadi. dark

Ultimately, for better or worse, Ugo Amadi at least has a chance to compete for a roster spot on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster, with a backup slot spot theoretically being openly contested among the likes of Jimmy Moreland and the team’s other corners now that Josiah Scott is bring cross-trained at safety. If he can outperform Andre Chachere, who played some slot versus the New York Jets, on special teams over the final two weeks of the season, maybe Amadi will find his way onto the 53-man roster. And if not, he’ll likely end up on the practice squad, where he’ll be an injury away from seeing the field. Either way, it’s hard to see JJ Arcega-Whiteside providing more utility or value in 2022.