One of two high-profile Michigan pass rushers from 2021, David Ojabo, will enter the 2022 NFL draft. With potential through the roof, check out his scouting report below.
Above all else, Ojabo is a fantastic story. After having not played organized football until his junior year of high school, he was a starter for just one year at the University of Michigan. At six-foot-five and 250 pounds, Ojabo is a fantastic athlete who participated in track and field in high school. He even won a state title in the 100m dash in 2018. A player with immense physical tools, he finished the 2021 season with eleven sacks and 35 tackles and was named a second-team All-American.
Bookending eventual first-rounder Aidan Hutchinson, Ojabo is a much different player. Still incredibly raw after just a few years in the sport, his tools are tantalizing. With incredible speed around the edge, this is the most common move he applies. If the tackle is late out of his set, Ojabo can simply beat them around the corner. His closing speed is great as well. He also flashes the hip mobility to bend around the edge, but it will have to be developed more in the NFL. For a player still learning the game, he is out of position at times. However, the effort is always top-notch, and he does a great job of locating the ball and attacking it at all times.
David Ojabo’s pass rush skills are INSANE pic.twitter.com/FhuK2IBo8p
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 27, 2022
While his inexperience is part of what makes him so exciting as a prospect, it also comes with the typical growing pains. Currently, he struggles to formulate a pass-rushing plan pre-snap. Often just rushing and hoping to win through pure athletic ability, he will have to become more refined in the NFL. Where this shows up most often is in his hand usage.
Developing more counters and harnessing his obvious hand power will be crucial in the NFL. While he does flash power through his hands, he is not a player who is capable of winning with power at this time. Nearly all of his bull rush attempts are easily nullified. As mentioned, he can get out of position in the run game at times and struggles to anchor, which will cause him to lose his containment.
Where does Ojabo end up going?
Ojabo is a classic boom or bust prospect. Loaded with potential, a team will certainly fall in love with his tools and select him high in the 2022 Draft. As such, his landing spot will be key. The San Francisco 49ers are likely praying they get the chance to draft him. Personally, I would not be comfortable selecting him until day two. While the potential is sky high, the floor is also staggeringly low. He could easily become a Pro Bowler or be out of the league in a few seasons.
With the improvement he has already shown in such a short amount of time, I would take my chances in the second round and see if my coaching staff could unlock his true abilities.
*Top Photo: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images