2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: EDGE Azeez Ojulari

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

PROSPECT SUMMARY - AZEEZ OJULARI

Azeez Ojulari aligns as an EDGE defender for the Bulldogs defense. He will align either in a 2-point or 3-point stance and has played on all three downs for their defense. He plays with good reactive athleticism when out on the edge and demonstrates good quickness, effort, and body control. Although he appears to lack ideal length for a traditional 3-4 OLB, he demonstrates very good pop in his hips and hands at the point of attack to set the edge. In the passing game, he gets home with good effort and motor. He needs to improve and refine his overall technique as a pass rusher, but shows flashes of the athleticism that projects him to have success at the next level. 

Ideal Role: Rush Linebacker.

Scheme Fit: Any defense with hybrid even/odd front principles will have no problems using him as a valuable chess piece. 

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Drae Harris

Games watched: Tennessee (2019), Alabama (2020), Arkansas (2020)

Best Game Studied: Tennessee (2019)

Worst Game Studied: Arkansas (2020)

First-Step Explosiveness: He has moments where his initial quickness is good. However, his consistency needs to improve. But when it's his time to rush and he is decisive, he’s much more explosive going forward.

Flexibility: His overall flexibility appears to be good, although he does show some stiffness in his hips. This limits his ability to get the edge on occasion and also shows up in man coverage situations. 

Hand Counters: This is an area where he really needs to improve. There are times where he uses his hands to defeat the lineman, but he is generally a work in progress in this regard. Learning to better use his hands to counter will make him more effective as a rusher off the edge.

Length: He doesn’t have the ideal length for a prototypical edge in the NFL. This is why he is best suited playing off the ball in a 4-3. He would be a fit for some 3-4 teams outside, but they would have to find ways to circumvent the limitations.

Hand Power: He demonstrates excellent pop in his hands. This is evident in his ability to set the edge and jolt the opposition back. He also does a very good job disengaging and moving laterally to the football.

Run Defending: He does a very good job of defending the run. When he is playside, he defeats the lineman with strength, athleticism, and effort. He excels as a chase player on the backside and has been very proficient defending the run.

Effort: He typically wins with effort. This is how he gets home. Even when the quarterback has evaded the initial rush, his motor continues for the pressure and/or sack.

Football IQ: He demonstrates excellent football IQ and awareness which could potentially serve him well in zone drops. He also shows good awareness over the course of the game not to be drawn offsides. He also appears to set offensive tackles up, saving his best rush when needed on the edge.

Lateral Mobility: He demonstrates excellent lateral mobility. When he is not playside, he does a good job of locating and closing to the football on the backside. He also demonstrates his mobility when he is on a stunt.

Versatility: His versatility isn’t a strength and he appears to lack the ideal length and overall bulk to ideally play on the edge as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL. However, I think his skill set is best suited off the ball, covered up in a 4-3 defense. He also will be excellent on core special teams if required.

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 84.75/100

Joe Marino: 86.50/100

Kyle Crabbs: 85.00/100

Jordan Reid: 86.50/100

Drae Harris: 81.00/100

Written By:

Drae Harris

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Drae Harris is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst and seven-year scouting veteran in the NFL. He's a former player for the Cal Golden Bears and San Francisco 49ers.

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