The Northwestern defensive lineman was the talk of the NFL Combine at workouts on day one. Before drills, Adebawore measured a shade under 6-foot-2 and weighed 282 pounds. These numbers track when you look at Adebawore because he is chiseled from stone.
To the amazement of everyone in the crowd, Adebawore glided around the field with his massive frame, flexing jaw-dropping athleticism and burst. With a 4.49 40-yard dash, the Wildcat defender elicited “oohs” and “ahs” from scouts and media alike.
— Clay Harbor (@clayharbs82) March 3, 2023
The most impressive part of Adebawore’s tape is the power that he plays with. He had 27 reps on the bench and showcased impressive lower body strength by posting a 37.5-inch vertical. Simply put, the guy is a freak.
NFL Combine: Adetomiwa Adebawore Would Look Great with Raiders
Making the NFL was never on Adebawore’s mind coming out of high school. He said in the media interview, “I was just trying to go get my degree and play football.” Adebawore continued, “I got the opportunity, and I’m trying to take full advantage of it.”
He did exactly that during his Wildcat career. After receiving offers from Cornell and Toledo, Adebawore committed to Northwestern. This decision helped him see action vs. more premier talent. Something he prides himself on is challenging the best and learning from them.
Adebawore played sparingly in his first two years in Evanston, working relentlessly in practice to gain more in-game reps. This hard work behind the scenes paid off as he recorded 11 sacks in his final two seasons with Northwestern, sporting an 80.3 pass-rushing grade in 2022 (via PFF).
Adebawore is also credited with 50 stops in the same span, highlighting his ability to impact the game as a run-stuffer. He loves to mix it up in the trenches and will never shy away from getting his nose dirty in a scrum.
Potential Fit with the Raiders
The Raiders need to stop the run and could use a penetrating defensive tackle to free up Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones off the edge. Adebawore boasts the physical nature that Patrick Graham looks for in a pass rusher. He can line up inside and even spot Chandler Jones to keep the veteran fresh for the long haul of the season.
It is the worst-kept secret that the Raiders require massive improvement in the secondary. So, one way to start this movement is by creating more pressure on the pocket and forcing quarterbacks into more difficult throws. Adding Adebawore to the depth chart would make everyone on the unit better for it.
After arguably the best performance at the Combine, the Northwestern lineman might have worked his way into the first round. He’d be an ideal pick for the Raiders at No. 38 overall if still on the board, or perhaps even if the front office trades down in round one.
*Top Photo: Justin Casterline/Getty Images