Name: Charles Omenihu
CONFERENCE: Big 12
POSITION: Interior Defensive Lineman
JERSEY: No. 90
RECRUITMENT RATING: N/A
WT: 275 lbs
Get-off/Burst – Eye-popping burst out of a 3-point stance on long/late downs, screaming off the edge with unbelievable quickness and long strides to eat up the arc. Can legit corner despite his size due to exceptional get-off and the ability to carry that speed upfield. Works often from a 4-point, frog stance and still shows the ability to react very quickly to his opponent’s movement off the snap, winning early control of the rep.
Leverage – In flashes his pad level is an issue, but more as an interior pass rusher than in run defense. Of Omenihu is moving gaps or rushing face-up on an offensive linemen, he’ll occasionally unfurl more of his 6-foot-6 frame than necessary, allowing linemen to land some strikes. Still, typically fires off low from a frog stance and maintains that leverage despite giving up some pounds. Can get a little over-extended firing out into contact at times. Can clearly play with the necessary knee bend, just a matter of doing it consistently.
Hand Usage – Extremely difficult to base block or reach in the run game because of his length and explosiveness. Fires out both hands off the snap, exploding into his opponent’s chest and locking out with excellent arm extension. Terrific pop in his hands in the run and pass game. Stacks up opponents and sheds them, although a little more added strength will help him shed clean every time. Push-pull move is a go-to. As a pass rusher, shows a variety of hand work to keep his frame clean, and has been noted for his diligence in perfecting his hand technique while at Texas.
Rush Plan/Counters – Rushes from a 3-technique position all the way out to a wide 9 for Texas, and has success at every spot. Combines rush moves together to get home, including cross chops, 2-hand swats, rips, clubs, snatches and bull rushes. Attacks his opponent’s hands and almost always has a plan of attack when teeing off 1v1. Can still do a better job working to counter moves more quickly, perhaps incorporating a spin or swim into the repertoire.
Mental Processing/Block Recognition – Still learning to see and react appropriately to double teams, largely due to the fact that he played on the edge a lot and didn’t see many. Reads pass sets extremely well and will take inside paths to the pocket when available. Impressed with his ability to work through zone blocks and not get pinned inside on pin-and-pull plays to the boundary. Some of the down blocks against Oklahoma gave him issues, as did Cody Ford’s massiveness on 2-3 reps.
Range – Should run one of the better 40 times for his position group at the Combine. Good athlete who can open up and run, showing off range to close down tough angles against the run. Fully capable of making plays away from his gap.
Bend/Flexibility – A little stiff in his hips, but ankle flexibility is top notch. Can corner off the edge at like 280-285 pounds due to ability to drop shoulder and tilt to the pocket. Swivels his hips away from contact to reduce surface area, something that a somewhat similar tweener in Solomon Thomas never learned to do.
Tackling – No issues here. Exceptional length and strength allow him to consistently get runners on the ground, even when reaching outside his frame. When he gets the opportunity, will deliver a big hit with some knock-back.
Competitive Toughness – Violent and physical in his demeanor. Rare ability to combine power with finesse on the field. Hustles all over the field and does not take plays off.
Athleticism/Size – Unbelievable length and muscular build. May be a little light to play on the interior in the NFL, but I think he’s heavier than his listed weight of 275. Could need to add a little bulk, but moves incredibly well at his size, showing ideal athletic traits to be a 3-down, high-impact player.
BEST TRAIT – Hand Usage
WORST TRAIT – Pad Level
RED FLAGS – None
One of the more fun parts of being an NFL Draft analyst is finding gems like Omenihu that few people are talking about, likely due to the fact he plays in the defensive-deficient Big 12. That part may be true, but don’t blame Omenihu. He did his part to bring defense back to the conference, with 16 tackles-for-loss and 9.5 sacks in 2018.
Omenihu should be one of the biggest risers of the pre-draft process, particularly when more analysts get a chance to look at his tape and see minimal weaknesses coupled with a complete skill set. Omenihu’s length, explosiveness and physicality make him extremely difficult to handle 1v1, both in the run game and as a pass rusher. His growth this season and his versatility to play all over the defensive front are both extremely encouraging from an NFL evaluation standpoint. If Omenihu has the week I expect he will at the Senior Bowl and Combine, he should be a top 50 lock come April.
First Step Quickness –When able to coil into a front-loaded stance is able to produce some notable burst off of the line of scrimmage. Has irregular results when tasked with timing up the snap count and bursting off of the LOS on non-obvious passing downs.
Hand Technique/Length – Placement is irregular, resulting in frustrating lapses in play. Can be walled off with ease if caught with hands low and without ability to extend and stack. Block disengagement techniques are often soft and ineffective in efforts to get hands off of the frame.
Pass Rush Counters –Counters are inconsistent but has shown awareness and implementation of several key counters, specifically bull rushes, rip/club and rip/dip combos. Powerful frame can be potent when aligned effectively and in position to generate power through the hands.
Flexibility –Is especially tight as an edge rusher when looking to take on offensive tackles on deeper pass sets. Does not have the mobility to play with feet extended from underneath the hips, causing issues to tilt and carry leverage and or speed through steep angles.
Run Defending –If able to establish a clean fit with the hands has been very effective in stacking blockers and subsequently pulling them off of their set. Hands, from an established position, are powerful. Has two gap ability with length when tasked with playing in the B-gap in primary run downs.
Competitive Toughness –Too many reps end with him knocked on his back, will get collapsed if unable to establish a firm hand set on blockers. Has the needed physical stature to be a monster presence along the LOS but technical inconsistencies rob him of the natural anchor he provides.
Tackling –Has a terrific tackle radius thanks to sizable wingspan, prominent presence at the line of scrimmage to extend and grab a piece of the ball carrier. Will flatten down the line of scrimmage or get width effectively to challenge plays when tasked with scraping.
Lateral Mobility –Has a modest amount of range when looking to widen the play and string out runs as an interior defender. Lateral quickness and short area ability to duck back inside is not especially strong, but has the needed length to still play with notable influence along the line.
Stand Up Ability –Maybe dropped one time in coverage in five games. Is a tried and true down lineman. Is not going to offer a lot of successful pass rush reps from wider angles and won’t have the short area quickness to flash across the face of a blocker and accelerate through a gap.
Football IQ –Still feeling his way through consistency with his hands and ability to react to offensive looks. Can be slow to transition out of initial read steps and fit before hoping to transition into ball pursuit or gap penetration, which can limit his impact of the game in stretches.
BEST TRAIT – Length
WORST TRAIT – Flexibility
BEST FILM – Maryland (2018)
WORST FILM – Oklahoma (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Charles Omenihu projects favorably as a base 4-3 defensive end in an even front. Omenihu has the needed length, power and hand pop to be a stout run defender and modest pass rusher in a starting role, however his hand usage needs to show improvement in accuracy and violence if he is to maximize his tight angled reps against blockers on the edge.
Run Defense – Regularly extends his arms, leverages his hips and holds a firm edge. Natural strength enables him to squeeze gaps. Finds the football and generally diagnoses blocking schemes well. Has good range and has success shooting gaps on the interior. Has the length and hand usage needed to two-gap.
Pass Rush – Highly effective using his hands and length to soften rush angles and keep his pads clean. Strong vertical push out of his stance and gains depth. Has been effective rushing from the edge and lined up inside and found success. Illustrates the ability to string together moves and rushes with a plan. Rushes with good tilt and capable of dipping the shoulder to flatten and win the edge. There is some tightness in his hips that result in him getting worked beyond the peak of the pocket at times.
Burst – Good explosion off the ball for his size. Eats up turf with his stride length to gain initial depth in his rush. Illustrates excellent short area quickness and ability to change directions, especially for his body composition.
Effort – No questions here. Motor runs hot continuously. Pursues the football and is never content being blocked. Immediately looks to chase down receivers after the quarterback throws the ball. Competitive toughness and physical demeanor are evident.
Hand Technique – Does an outstanding job of fitting his hands and winning with first contact that when combined with his length, makes it extremely difficult for blockers to get into his frame. Hands are heavy and violent which enables him to stack and shed blocks. Has a variety of pass rush moves to soften angles.
Flexibility – Has some tightness in his hips but generally does well to soften angles, reduce his surface area and win the edge. Is able to work laterally down the line of scrimmage and to the sideline. Impressive change of direction ability. Ankle flexion and ability to contort upper body are outstanding for his size.
Processing – Good vision when reading pass sets and executing his plan. Illustrates good play recognition skills to diagnose screens, draws and quick game. Feels wide zone runs very well. Needs to feel doubles and down blocks more consistently.
Play Strength – Generally plays with good leverage to maximize his power at the point of attack but gets in trouble when his pads aren’t low, especially on the interior. Contact balance is excellent. Hands are heavy and violent.
Versatility – Lined up from 3-tech to Wide-9 for Texas and should be able to play multiple spots in the NFL and take advantage of matchups. Has inside/outside upside as pass rusher and run defender.
BEST TRAIT – Length
WORST TRAIT – Hip Flexibility
RED FLAGS – None
Omenihu brings a loaded toolbox to the table that makes him a versatile defender with inside/outside pass rushing and run defending upside. Showcasing continuous growth throughout his college career, Omenihu enjoyed the best season as a senior and enters the draft process playing his best football. Omenihu does have some size limitations when working inside and some tightness in the hips that present challenges on the outside, but his length, hand usage and effort serve as a strong foundation that should factor him into mix early in his career. By year three, Omenihu has the upside to be a versatile playmaker in a defensive front that is multiple.
PROS: Ideal NFL frame with the athleticism and flexibility to play with good leverage. Outstanding length and uses it to his advantage, able to keep blockers at bay and consistently shed with proper hand usage. Ability to get off blocks used to be an effective run defender. Can generate interior pressure by shooting gaps with leverage. Already possesses a solid swim move.
CONS: Will give half a step at the line of scrimmage if it means he’s able to read the backfield. Can occasionally have trouble picking up the play. Lacks awareness in multiple areas, picking up screen passes and taking the path of least resistance too often rather than fighting pressure with pressure. Seemingly has durability issues and can get blown off the ball near the end of drives.