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James Nyamwaya Scouting Report | Merrimack College DT | 2023 NFL Draft

James Nyamwaya Scouting Report | Merrimack College DT | 2023 NFL Draft
James Nyamwaya Scouting Report | Merrimack College DT | 2023 NFL Draft

Player Bio

James Nyamwaya is a 6-foot-4, 294-pound Defensive Tackle prospect from Merrimack College.

Nyamwaya prepped at Andover High School in Andover, MA, where he starred in football and basketball for the Golden Warriors.

Nyamwaya was an unranked prospect in the Class of 2017 and decided to attend Bridgton Academy – a college prep postgraduate program in Bridgton, ME – to chase an opportunity to play football at the collegiate level.

In his one season at Bridgton Academy, Nyamwaya played well enough to earn an offer to continue his football career at Curry College – a Division III program in Milton, MA.

As a true freshman in 2018, Nyamwaya appeared in seven games, recording 15 tackles, one tackle for loss, one fumble recovery, and one pass deflection.

Nyamwaya took a major step forward in his development during the 2019 season. Starting in all 10 games, Nyamwaya collected 60 tackles, four tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. He finished second on the team in total tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks.

Curry canceled its 2020 season due to the Coronavirus pandemic, so Nyamwaya was forced to sit out for an entire year before returning to the field in 2021.

Nyamwaya picked up right where he left off from the 2019 season, establishing himself as one of the best run-stopping defensive tackles in Division III football in 2021. He accumulated 61 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, and one forced fumble, en route to earning First Team All-Commonwealth Coast Conference honors for the first time.

Nyamwaya entered the transfer portal with one year of eligibility remaining in his college career. He signed his letter of intent with Merrimack College – an FCS program in his hometown of North Andover, MA.

In his first and only season at the Division I level, Nyamwaya made an immediate impact for Merrimack, helping the Warriors finish the 2022 season with an 8-3 record. He appeared in all 11 games and tallied 27 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 5,5 sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Nyamwaya received Second Team All-NEC honors for his performance on the season.

Nyamwaya finished his five-year college career with 163 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

Scouting Report

James Nyamwaya is a 3-tech Defensive Tackle with proficient play strength, explosive initial quickness & get-off, solid functional athleticism, and a high-level motor.

At 6-foot-4, 294 pounds, Nyamwaya possesses a formidable, athletic build with room to add mass to an already well-developed frame. He generates force through his powerful lower half, positively impacting his knock-back ability and leg drive at the point of attack.

Nyamwaya showcased his lower-body explosiveness at Merrimack’s Pro Day, where he posted a 35” vertical – which would have placed him first amongst all defensive tackles at the NFL combine –  a 9’3” broad jump and a 2.88 20-yard split in the 40. However, his upper-body strength is lacking compared to his lower half, evidenced by his 14 reps on the bench press, which would have put him in last place amongst all defensive linemen at the combine. 

Still, Nyamwaya has strong contact balance & body control, quick hands, and subtle hip/knee flexibility, which allow him to create penetration and clog up running lanes in the interior.

Nyamwaya is a smooth mover with decent lateral quickness, burst, and straight-line speed. He operates with a high motor, frequently pursuing the ball from sideline to sideline and chasing down ball carriers from behind. He is a tireless competitor who can flip momentum with energy and effort on every snap.

Through his five years of college, Nyamwaya spent most of his career at the Division III level and has yet to square off against elite offensive linemen on a consistent basis. Nyamwaya will likely need some time to adjust to the level of competition in the NFL, but he is only scratching the surface of his potential. In the right situation, Nyamwaya could develop into a rotational 3-tech after spending some time on an NFL practice squad. 

Nyamwaya should covet heavy interest as a priority undrafted free agent due to his eye-catching lower-body explosiveness and quality tackle-for-loss & sack production at Merrimack in 2022.

Draft Projection

Priority Undrafted Free Agent


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