By: Hussam Patel
Azeez Ojulari Georgia Bulldogs’ best defender last season. Mainly lining up as an EDGE in their base 4-3 Defense, he sometimes would be the only EDGE in a 3-4 scheme. He’s super-athletic, quick off the line and can control his body well. He’s most likely going to be an OLB for an NFL team because of his length concerns, although I wouldn't write him off at playing the EDGE position without a full NFL Offseason.
Ojulari earned recognition as a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award for his efforts, and second-team All-SEC selection at outside linebacker. He certainly has talent both in the LB corps and as a rotational EDGE. Off the line of scrimmage, he's got a great pop in his hips and violent hands. As I said, with his body control, he can bend against offensive linemen, get that first step in, and attack the Quarterback. It’s insane how effortless his production and how consistent his motor is.
Teams value players who are great at rushing the QB; I’m under the impression Ojulari could be one of the first EDGE/LB taken based on his pass rush skill alone. Sometimes he’s a bit too explosive and linemen can wash him out of the play, so the Bulldog product will need to improve against the run if he wants to start at the EDGE Position and be a second level defender at the linebacker spot.
Ojulari certainly has the IQ to defend against the run, he knows how to attack lineman and fill gaps. However, he won't be able to anchor and hold his ground for an extended period; when a running back gets to the second level, he might not be able to catch up and make the tackle, ultimately taken out of the play. He wasn’t asked to cover at Georgia, but if he does play LB, he will need to know how to cover well. He reminds me of Yannick Ngakoue.