Azeez Ojulari Draft Profile
While the 2021 NFL draft class has been looked at as a somewhat weak edge rusher draft, Azeez Ojulari is an absolute stud. Consistency is key for Ojulari, he’s a guy who is capable of getting double digit sacks every year. Some people are too busy worrying that there isn’t a top three picked pass rusher in this draft class, but Azeez Ojulari is going to be a really good NFL player. The overall moral to this story is you don’t need to have freaky genetics to be a really good pass rusher. While Chase Young and Myles Garrett are top notch players in the league, technicians like Carl Lawson and Ojulari are also capable of being all-pro players.
There are so many different ways to win as an edge rusher: you can be a speed guy, a power guy, or in Olujari’s case a hand guy. Between Ojulari’s hand swipes and bend, he does a great job at getting to the quarterback. Some rushers just get into a groove where they’re unblockable, that is exactly what happened in Ojulari’s bowl game. In the fourth quarter against Cincinnati, Ojulari put up three sacks and two forced fumbles. His final play in a Georgia uniform was a safety, he just got into the zone. The lean at the top of his rusher gives him a literal edge. Even though Ojulari’s hand swipes don’t get talked about enough, the most underrated part of Ojulari’s game is his motor. Ojulari works his way through blockers and while he might not be the biggest, strongest, or fastest guy, he doesn’t give up on a play. At Georgia, there were snaps where he had to drop into coverage. While this isn’t his strong suit, Ojulari showed that he’s capable of covering running backs and athletic enough to run with skill position players. Against the run, Ojulari is physical and a solid run stuffer.
It’s hard to find definitive issues in Ojulari’s game without nitpicking. I noticed that he struggled against longer armed tackles (Kentucky and Alabama game). With that being said, Ojulari was able to find his footing against both offensive tackles. There were also times where he committed to the wrong player in read options or lost containment on the outside, but these are all coachable target points. Ojulari is a guy who I can see being a 10+ year pro.
Kirby Smart, the head coach at Georgia, named Ojulari his first ever freshman team captain. I think Ojulari is a top 20 player in this draft, and I don’t see him falling past pick number 27 to the Ravens. The Ravens would be a good team fit for Ojulari. While he isn’t the same player as Matt Judon, both players know how to get to the quarterback. The Ravens are missing that presence with the loss of Judon. The Vikings have been trying to find the “next Everson Griffen” since they lost Everson Griffen. While Ojulari isn’t quite as big as Griffen, they have a somewhat similar skillset. The Colts could also use a top pass rusher in this draft. As far as a player comparison goes, I can see Ojulari being similar to Dante Fowler on the Atlanta Falcons. Ojulari is one of the top defensive prospects in this draft.
Run Defender 5.75/7
Pass Rush Moves 5/6
Get Off/Motor 4.75/5
Final Rating: 85
Pro Comparison: Dante Fowler
Team Fits: Colts, Ravens, Vikings
Draft Ranking: Top 20 player
Draft Projection: Picked in the 20’s