As you should know by now, our attention has now shifted to the 2016 NFL Draft as it relates to the prospects. From now until the draft takes place, we hope to profile as many draft prospects as we possibly can for you. Most of these player profiles will be centered around prospects the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have interest in.
Breakdown of OLB Emmanuel Ogbah today.
#38, Emmanuel Ogbah, EDGE — Oklahoma State, 6’4”, 274 Lbs, Redshirt Junior
-Reads and reacts quickly to what is in front of him
-Impressive dip-and-rip move from either side to bend the edge
-Versatile pass rusher who can line up all over the field
-Quick closing speed due to long strides
-Thick, muscular frame
-Ideal height and arm length (35 1/2 inches) for position
-Fast, powerful hands (10-inch hands) at point of attack
-Above-average play strength
-Limited get-off at the snap, stands up quickly instead of getting up the field quickly
-Needs major work on pass rushing moves
-Slow to set up moves and rarely has a counter if first move fails
-Struggles at setting the edge against the run, doesn’t get off of blocks quickly
-Slow to execute looping stunts
-Effort/motor is an issue
-Show stiffness in his hips and isn’t a dynamic athlete off the edge
-Pad level is a work in progress
-Native of Nigeria who moved to Houston at the age of 9
-26.5 career sacks in three seasons at Oklahoma State
-Named Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year in ‘14
-Named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in ‘15
-Named All-American by USA Today, Walter Camp Foundation
-Ted Hendricks Award Finalist
On paper, Emmanuel Ogbah looks like one of the most dominant pass rushers in the 2016 draft class, thanks to an outstanding 26.5 sacks during his three years at Oklahoma State.
But once you put on the tape, you’ll leave disappointed in the 6’4”, 273-pound redshirt junior that hails from Houston, by way of Nigeria.
Despite having the ideal size and arm length (35 1Ž2-inch arms), Ogbah rarely uses his length and reach to his advantage while also struggling mightily with his pad level, which gives him issues in the running game, as well as rushing the passer.
Combined with pad level issues and consistency with using his hands and extending opponents away from his body, Ogbah also has a serious issue with his motor, which revs high on obvious passing downs, but appears nearly out of gas on any other play.
Take a look at this play here against Oklahoma this past season.
By no means is Baker Mayfield a burner out of the backfield. Knowing that, Ogbah doesn’t even give full effort in pursuit of the bootleg, simply jogging along, allowing Mayfield to get rid of the football without pressure.
During this entire play Ogbah wasn’t more than seven yards away from Mayfield, and with his long strides and long reach, there’s no reason why Ogbah couldn’t have applied serious pressure on this play.
Outside of the inconsistent motor, Ogbah is really poor against the run, often getting washed down the line or struggling to get off blocks as the runner bursts past him.
On this play, Ogbah is oblivious as to what is happening around him.
By getting washed down the line, Ogbah leaves a huge hole in his place. But on top of that, Ogbah turns his back to the line of scrimmage trying to get off the block, allowing the running back to scoot right by before he even realizes what is happening.
This wasn’t the only time this happened either.
With an inconsistent motor, poor technique against the run and the frustrating lack of consistency to use his physical gifts to his advantage, it’s tough to see a lot to like about Ogbah.
But then he goes and does things like this on a consistent basis, leaving people drooling over his physical tools and the high ceiling that he has as a pass rusher.
As a pass rusher, Ogbah loves to use this dip-and-rip move where he swats the offensive lineman’s hands away, allowing him to dip under the block before then ripping his arm upward to raise the lineman’s arms, leaving a nice path for Ogbah to bend around to the quarterback.
Moving all over the line and being able to rush the passer with his hand in the dirt, or as a standing edge rusher, this is Ogbah’s go-to move in big spots.
Although most offensive linemen know that’s his go-to move, Ogbah is so quick to set it up and powerful enough to blow right through the block.
The ability to do this from either side is really intriguing, which could set him up well for next level.
However, when facing top NFL-level left tackles in college (Laremy Tunsil, Spencer Drago, Cody Whitehair,) Ogbah had a rough go of things because he has a limited pass rushing arsenal and doesn’t do much in terms of counters once his first move doesn’t work.
Against Tunsil in this past season’s bowl game, Ogbah allowed Tunsil to get into his pads, thwarting any sort of pass rush. When he was able to get up the field, Tunsil was athletic enough to stay with him, using great hand strength and a solid base to not let Ogbah overpower him.
If he’s going to be a consistent pass rushing threat at the next level he’s going to need to develop some serious counter moves to go up against top tackle talent every single Sunday.
Remember the consistency issues? They pop up as a pass rusher as well, mainly when he’s lazy at the snap, usually resulting in him being the last one off the ball.
Taking on Texas Tech’s Le’Raven Clark here, Ogbah barely even tries, resulting in an easy series of blocks for Clark.
After watching seven games of Ogbah, I can confidently say he projects to be a pass rushing specialist at the next level.
It will take some time for him to get coached up on the nuances of pass rushing while also learning new moves to go with his powerful dip-and-rip, but he’s nowhere near ready to be a starter.
Unless he corrects his consistency issues with his technique and motor, he’ll never be anything more than a guy who sees 20-25 snaps a game and pushes for 5-6 sacks a season in a limited pass rushing role.
But if he takes his craft seriously, adds a few pounds of muscle and plays with urgency on every snap, he could turn into a solid 4-3 end for a contender.
Overall, he’s a project despite large numbers. Just put on the tape and that’s easy to see.
Projection: Early 4th
Games Watched: vs. Florida State (’14), vs. Texas Tech (’14), at Central Michigan (’15), vs. Kansas State (’15), vs. Baylor (’15), vs. Oklahoma (’15), vs. Ole Miss (’15)