NFL Draft

2019 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Nebraska RB Devine Ozigbo

From now until the 2019 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

#22 Devine Ozigbo / RB Nebraska – 5’11” 219

The Good

  • Patient behind the LOS and sets up his blocks well
  • See the gap and hits it; downhill runner
  • Runs with good pad level, runs through arm tackles and finishes forward
  • Solid short area elusiveness when play breaks down
  • Solid receiver used out of the backfield and split out
  • Good awareness in pass protection to find the free rusher
  • Willingness to take on blockers

The Bad

  • Lacks the speed to win consistently on outside runs
  • Doesn’t possess and extra gear
  • COD at second level is marginal
  • Limited pass route usage
  • Doesn’t create after the catch
  • Technique in pass pro and use of hands is inconsistent


  • Career – 419 carries, 2,196 yards, 5.2 YPC, 21 TD, 49 receptions, 488 yards, 10 YPR
  • 2018 – 155 carries, 1,082 yards, 7.0 YPC, 12 TD, 23 receptions, 203 yards, 8.8 YPR
  • 2018 – Tom Novak Award voted on by the media, which goes to the senior who “best exemplifies courage and determination despite all odds in the manner of Nebraska All-America center Tom Novak”
  • 2018 – Football Lifter of the Year
  • Earned his bachelor’s degree majoring in advertising and public relations at Nebraska in December of 2018
  • He has volunteered with Husker Heroes, Uplifting Athletes and hospital outreach event
  • Also participated in track in high school

Tape Breakdown

Devine Ozigbo (#22) is another one of those hot names that have been dancing around in the draft discussions. After a solid senior season at Nebraska that earned him an invite to the East West Shrine game he was thrust onto the radar of draft fans.

He has a body built for the rigors of running the ball particularly on the inside. He was used primarily on inside Zone runs and Power runs. He shows solid vision and good patience on inside zone to let the play develop and on power runs he will press gaps and use his blockers well.  He has solid burst to get downhill and runs behind his pads well with good contact balance making him tough to take down and finishes forward for those extra couple yards. He has nimble feet able to make jump cuts and use agility in the short area to make people miss but once he gets up to speed his change of direction becomes more limited rounding off his cuts. In the open field he has solid long speed to make long runs but lacks the extra gear to run away from defenders.

Vs Wisconsin he displays good vision seeing the DE from the left has a clear lane. He bounces right, cuts up field and shows good contact balance to deflect off a defender to finish forward for a 12 yard gain

Vs Wisconsin it’s a draw giving him a big lane to the left but the stiff arm and running through another tackle gives him and extra 20 yards

At Northwestern he shows good short area agility bouncing left before using a little shimmy on the outside to make one miss to dive forward, just sort of the end zone

In the passing game, he was used as a receiver out of the backfield on screens and check down routes in the short area with the occasional wheel to the outside. He was also used on the outside and in the slot on slants and hitch routes. He shows solid hands and ability to adjust for the ball and is able to make the catch away from the body when necessary but will often use his body to make the catch when he can. After the catch he gets his head around quickly to try to gain extra yards but in the games watched he didn’t create above and beyond what was there.

Vs Minnesota he is split wide right and runs a quick hitch. He shows good hands, ability to adjust and concentration with two defenders bearing down on him

At Ohio State from the right slot he runs fly sweep motion into a wheel routed and adjusts nicely to the ball thrown behind him

In Pass protection he shows very good awareness keeping his head on a swivel scanning from inside to out to look to help where needed before releasing.  He displays good footwork to work back to late blitzers and square them up to give the QB a chance. He needs to improve his hand usage and placement to become more consistent and work on his leverage and balance so he can anchor more effectively so he doesn’t get pushed back.

Vs Ohio State in Pass Pro he works inside to out and displays good awareness to recognize the free rusher coming late up the middle. He adjusts back to give the QB a chance. The awareness is good, the execution can be improved.

Ozigbo is a solid running back, a grinder.  He’s best be used as a between the tackles runner to wear down defenses and execute short yardage situations.  While the clips show good hands as a receiver he wasn’t very effective after the catch and would most likely be a check down option for the QB after releasing from pass protection. I don’t see him as a kick returner but would have value covering kicks. He should have a chance at a number 2/3 RB on a team.

Projection: Late Day 3

Games Watched:  2017 – Vs Wisconsin; 2018 – At Northwestern, Vs Minnesota, At Ohio State, Vs Michigan State

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Parris Campbell Emanuel Hall Tony Pollard N’Keal Harry Deandre Baker
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