2021 Raiders Draft Prospect
Name: Azeez Ojulari
Weight: 240 pounds
Based on purely physical traits alone, Ojulari will tally quite a number of sacks on Sunday. First, watch his hands and how quickly they find freedom. Handfighting is an art. Yet, Ojulari needs to finish his work. Occasionally, you’ll witness a win with a rip move, but the prospect often stops the move halfway. If he finishes, the move clears and generates space. Right now, Ojulari displays the ingredients but needs to start making meals in the NFL. At Georgia, the prospect flashed enough technical acumen to thrive but needs to hone this trait.
Operating from the two-point stance, the UGA standout kicks it into gear at the snap. He plays faster and looser standing up. Closing on the target or dropping into man coverage doesn’t faze or worry about the target. As a blitzer, the prospect bears down a sharp angle towards the passer, whether a blocker exists or not. When trailing backside, Ojulari makes up ground with long, positive strides.
Exhibiting outstanding bend and nimbleness, the UGA linebacker uses this trait to his ultimate advantage. While evading a block, Ojulari’s handspeed and dexterity sheds blocks. Meanwhile, the ability to bend the corner, leading with his shoulder leads to stumbling linemen.
Weighing in the 240-245 pound range, Ojulari isn’t a full-time defensive end. Although his frame can add 10-15 pounds, he needs to make sure the weight translates into power. If linemen lock on with leverage, the prospect will vanish from the play. At the next level, he must get immediately stronger. Adding a sturdy bull rush will enhance his other moves, making him a complete rusher.
Blessed with pop and timing, Ojulari wrap quickly and drags effectively. More importantly, as a rusher, you will see that hand swing around and chop down, forcing a fumble. Now, he must show the knack for repeating tackles with better form.
Known primarily as a pass rusher, the prospect’s athletic traits help this aspect improve. With the speed to chase the ball carrier across the field, Ojulari racks up the TFL. Correspondingly, he flattens out, stringing out runs to the perimeter.
Potential is a dirty word in football. It shortens coaching careers and halts team progress. Granted, none of this is Ojulari’s fault. Yet, with his skill set and foundation, he could make a legitimate difference for the right team. With that, the price of expectation and marked improvement remains high.
In Ojulari, the Raiders finally draft another versatile linebacker. Scheming with a player like the prospect should not be a problem. Playing all three downs allows Ojulari to use his vast array of talents to the fullest. With the faces of the AFC becoming younger and changing, the Raiders need to immediately address this. While the Raiders’ front seven looks crowd, it’s neither talented nor athletic. As a result, this pick looks smart and rather strong. Vegas need help to slow down the Chiefs.