NAME: Osa Odighizuwa
POSITION: Defensive Tackle/Defensive End
WEIGHT: 280 pounds
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Osa Odighizuwa attended David Douglas High School in Portland, Oregon. His high school athletics career was not just highlighted on the gridiron. One of the top high school wrestlers at the time, Odighizuwa was a three time state wrestling champ. In football, he was a two time Defensive Player of the Year for DDHS. Odighizuwa was selected to play in the Semper Fiedelis All-America Bowl Game. Rated as a three-star recruit, he was also the number three player to come out of the state of Oregon and a top 50 defensive tackle in his class. Odighizuwa committed to UCLA for college football.
After not seeing game action in his first season with the Bruins in 2016, he saw playing time in all 13 games in 2017. A highlight that year, included Odighizuwa returning a fumble 51 yards for a touchdown against Washington. 2018 saw him earn more consistent starting reps. As a result, Odighizuwa started in eight of 11 games played. He finished that season tied for second on the team in sacks and tied for third on the team in tackles for loss. A starter in all 12 games in 2019, Odighizuwa led UCLA in total tackles, tied for the team lead in tackles for loss and was third in sacks.
He was just as disruptive in the Pac 12’s shortened season in 2020. Again starting in every game, Odighizuwa was second on the team in sacks. Finally, he was a consensus first team All-Pac 12 selection in 2020. His older brother, Owa Odighizuwa, was drafted in the third round with the 74th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.
Odighizuwa uses his hands in an intelligent style. Despite his long arms and dense frame, he does well to stay compact and not let his hands get too wide. He is good about leaving his hands in front of his chest. As a result, opposing blockers are unable to control him initially. If they do actually take his first counter move away, Odighizuwa is not lacking in additional counter moves. His punches are quick, but violent. Odighizuwa also shows off what he learned during a stellar wrestling career. Overall, his hand timing and placement is impeccable.
He may not have the long speed, but Odighizuwa has a strong first step off when the ball is snapped. His explosiveness can stress opposing blockers quickly. As a result, they are forced to make swift decisions. Odighizuwa has also displayed fairly good flexibility and bend in his hips and legs. Not all plays are going to lead to tackles for this particular defender. However, his noble angles place him in good positions to make plays. Odighizuwa also has faster lateral mobility to move across or down the line of scrimmage.
With an immense tackle radius, Odighizuwa is able to get a hand on ball carriers with a hand still on his pads. He has a couple of question marks surrounding his size. Due to a bit of a lighter frame for a defensive tackle, Odighizuwa benefits from his long arms. Though, he also understands how to use it to his advantage. He keeps his upper body under control. To boot, Odighizuwa generally gains a fair amount of leverage against opposing blockers. Because of how natural he can use that, the defensive tackle can either control or penetrate gaps in simple fashion.
This issue stems more from Odighizuwa struggling to transfer his power consistently. Despite natural leverage and flexibility, he can stand to find more balance. One would like to see him use a sturdier base. Occasionally, Odighizuwa can struggle with how to power through blocks. His block deconstruction appears to hinder against taller and longer opposing blockers. Over time, Odighizuwa will need to become more polished with how he distributes his strength or power. His energy, effort and motor could help accelerate that.
Certain blocks and attacks by offensive linemen have surprised Odighizuwa. Meanwhile, plays with heavy misdirection have confused him as well. The moment he loses track of the football, things can go haywire. Odighizuwa starts to lose his balance or his feet become stagnant altogether. Deciding a plan of attack sooner will make things easier for this defender. Consequently, Odighizuwa will need to learn how to indicate plays in pre-snap more often.
Due to the aforementioned questions of his slightly lighter size, many have struggled with the exact position that Odighizuwa will play. Is he a serviceable defensive tackle? Absolutely. However, he may only fit that role in a 4-3 defensive front. Odighizuwa was moved around from time to time on the Bruins defensive line. Quite frankly, his results were just as impactful from the wider defensive end position. Odighizuwa is viewed more as a defensive end than a tackle by some. That will be a question his coaches at the NFL level will have to figure out.
Osa Odighizuwa could fit the Kansas City Chiefs defensive line fairly well. He can defend the run and control his gap. Meanwhile, his ability to collapse the quarterback’s pocket as a pass rusher comes at a rapid pace. Teams have a good amount with which to work with regarding his physical toolbox. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has excelled with “smaller” defensive linemen. Furthermore, Odighizuwa could do well in an aggressive, multiple front style like Coach Spags’s. The Chiefs need to add more depth to the defensive line. And this defender could be impactful on sub package downs early on.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs draft prospect profiles throughout the rest of the spring. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.