In other Draft Spotlight features, we’ve seen prospects such as Randy Gregory, Bud Dupree, Nate Orchard and others get highlighted as potential edge rushers for the Atlanta Falcons. It’s almost pretty sure that, barring a trade down, the Falcons will grab the best available edge rusher at #8 overall.
The real question is if the Falcons double dip at the defensive line position, do they go edge rusher, run stuffing tackle, a versatile prospect who can rush the edge and slide inside on 3rd-and-long and rush the passer from the DT position?
Coach Quinn had the luxury of having DE Michael Bennett in Seattle. Although Bennett is a DE, he was utilized as a pass rusher from the DT position when Seattle decided to put their four best rushers on the field.
In today’s spotlight, we will analyze a Michael Bennett clone who can be a helpful tool in Atlanta.
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Owamagbe Odighizuwa Draft Spotlight
Weight: 267 pounds
Put on the film and you’ll see a well built DE with ridiculous arm length. Comes out of his stance with a good base and not straight up, which enables him to have good strength at the point of attack. A good defensive end will use his hands at all times and Odighizuwa does that very consistently.
He has the ability to play in a 3-4 scheme as well as 4-3. Odighizuwa possesses the skills to be very productive in both defenses.
Powerful bull rush to put offensive tackles on their heels and has enough speed to get around the edge. He also has the skillset to slide inside and utilize that speed and active hands to get past guards and centers to create constant pressure.
Showcased at the NFL Combine a 39-inch vertical leap which indicates he can, with proper teaching, be effective at batting down passes.
Check out what Owamagbe Odighizuwa can do on a football field via YouTube.
The former UCLA Bruin is considered a second round prospect for a reason. While he has good skills as a rusher, they can definitely stand to be better. As a rusher, he is definitely a work in progress.
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Don’t expect him to be the best rusher on the team. He fits more as an added piece to a well developed rotation instead of being the primary guy.
Although I stated he has good speed against tackles around the edge, OTs are more athletic in the NFL. His speed around the edge is what separates him from being a first rounder to probably being a solid second rounder.
Odighizuwa has enough of a skillset for defensive line coach Bryan Cox to implement some more knowledge and turn him loose. Odighizuwa fits that Michael Bennett type mold, with long arms, good pass rushing skills, really good run defense and edge setting, and the ability to attack guards and centers on third down and chase the QB.
With the Falcons facing so many options in the draft, I can see Quinn drafting a game changing edge rusher in round one, then coming back in round two and selecting a key rotational piece in Odighizuwa to really give the Falcons a very good defensive line.