From now until the 2021 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.
#13 Azeez Ojulari/LB Georgia – 6’3 240
- Ojulari is a fast twitch edge rusher with explosive power. He has a great get off and is very good at disengaging from blockers. He has good straight line speed and acceleration which causes problems for Offensive Tackles.
- Equally strong in the run game. His power is too much for Tight Ends and he does a great job using his hands to lock out blockers and gain separation.
- Ojulari is versatile, he is comfortable at both DE and OLB and playing from both 2pt and 3pt stances.
- Great bend at the top of his rushes that allows him to turn the corner whilst working back to the Quarterback
- Comfortable playing on both the strong and weak side of the field. He has the ability to align in space and come off the edge as well as playing heads up on a Tight End.
- Ojulari improved throughout his time at Georgia, having his best game in his last appearance for the Bulldogs against the Bearcats in the Peach Bowl.
- Ojulari is yet to fully develop his pass rushing toolbox, he will need to add a bigger variety of moves. At times it appears he does not have a plan B. He was able to win with speed and power alone at the college level, this will not happen so frequently against NFL talent.
- Ojulari has shown examples where he struggles with lateral quickness. Against Tennessee he let the QB escape the pocket and ended up on the floor
- Lack of coverage snaps may reduce his draft stock. Ojulari didn’t have many opportunities to show off his skills in coverage. He was so good rushing the passer it wouldn’t make sense for Georgia to drop him into coverage with any great frequency. At the next level where defensive schemes are more complex and defenders are asked to do more he will need to show he is capable.
- Ojulari is slightly undersized at 240lbs, he may struggle in the run game against NFL Offensive Linemen who are bigger and have better technique, he got moved a couple of times against Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood.
- Sophomore OLB from University of Georgia
- From Marietta, Georgia
- Attended Marietta High School, was an ESPN 4 star recruit and ranked 13th best OLB in the nation
- 2 Year Starter, redshirted in 2018
- Defensive MVP in Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
- 2020: 31 total tackles, 8.5 sacks (led SEC), 4 forced fumbles,
- 2019: 36 total tackles, 5.5 Sacks, 1 forced fumble
The first game I watched of Ojulari was Georgia vs Tennessee. Ojulari was named SEC lineman of the week for his performance in this game. The first clip is taken from a 4th and short play in the first quarter. Tennessee ran a sugar huddle trying to get to the line and snap the ball quickly, before Georgia had a chance to get lined up. Ojulari recognises the situation and gets aligned in a low stance over the Left Tackle. The Tackle blocks down looking to create a hole inside for the Running Back to pick up the short yardage required. Ojulari showed his power driving the Tackle down the line of scrimmage and sticking the ball carrier, who had just enough for the first down. Ojulari is a complete edge defender. He is strong in the run game as well as being a dangerous edge rusher.
In this next clip Ojulari is playing as a defensive end from a 3pt stance. He is aligned in a 6 technique (head up on the Tight End) and is responsible for the C gap between the Tackle and Tight End. Ojulari is very strong in the run game and does not get blocked by Tight Ends. He gets full extension on the blocker creating separation and gets his hat in his gap. Once the ball spills outside he then sheds the blocker and gets in on the tackle.
On this third clip from the Tennessee game Ojulari is aligned in a 2pt stance over the Left Tackle. He explodes off the ball beating the Tackle to his set point. He uses a chop dip rip move to clear the outside arm of the blocker and dip round the corner to the Quarterback. Ojulari has that natural bend that NFL teams look for in pass rushers. He has the ability to get low to the ground and turn the corner at speed on his way to the Quarterback which requires great athleticism. Ojulari gets the holy trinity for a pass rusher which is a strip sack and fumble recovery, setting up the Bulldogs offense in great field position.
The fourth and final play taken from the Tennessee game is from a pass rush in the first Quarter. Ojulari is aligned in a wide 5tech in a 2pt stance. Tennessee has a breakdown in protection which leaves Ojulari unblocked from the Quarterback’s blindside. Ojulari should have an easy sack here but he loses control in his rush. This may have been due to the excitement of knowing he had a chance to get a free shot on Guarantano. He does a poor job of attacking the throwing shoulder of Guarantano, which would force him to step up into the rush and prevent him from escaping the pocket. Guarantano turns what would have been a negative play into no gain.
The second game I watched was Georgia vs Alabama. I wanted to see the matchup between Ojulari and Alabama Left Tackle Alex Leatherwood. Ojualri started fast. The first play of the game (after the kickoff) Bama ran a play action pass off a wide zone look. The Bulldogs called a pressure off the edge to Ojulari’s side and he stunted inside at Left Guard Deonte Brown. Ojulari used an inside move and beat Brown across his face. He then accelerates to Mac Jones and hits him as he is releasing the ball which causes the ball to pop up in the air leading to an interception.
On the very next drive Ojulari is aligned over the RT. Alabama ran a GH counter play where the backside Guard and H-Back both pull in the direction of the run. The Guard who is Deonte Brown is responsible for kicking out Ojulari and the H-Back will lead up to the inside linebacker. Initially Ojulari gets a down block from the Right Tackle. He steps down to reduce the space and gets his eyes inside at Brown. Here he must make contact, keeping his outside arm and leg free and ‘box the puller’ to prevent the ball getting to the sideline, whilst also trying to constrict the size of the hole inside the Guards block. Ojulari is giving up over 120lbs to Brown who clocked in at 364lbs at the Senior Bowl. Ojulari explodes into Brown and blows up the play.
This play is taken from the 2nd Quarter, where Alabama ran outside zone at Ojulari. Ojulari gets too far upfield and this allows Leatherwood to widen Ojulari creating a big running lane inside for Najee Harris to exploit. Ojulari should either attack in a straight line up field to make the ball spill to the sideline and allow Georgia defenders to run over the top or he should control Leatherwood and constrict the B gap. This wasn’t a terrible rep and it’s against one of the best Tackle prospects in the class, but this is definitely an area for improvement.
The last game I watched of Ojulari was the Peach Bowl between Georgia and Cincinnati. The Bearcats had a great season but eventually the Bulldogs came out on top. Ojulari took over the game in the 4th Quarter. He got 3 sacks including 2 forced fumbles, and a Safety and was awarded the defensive MVP for his efforts.
On the final play of Ojulari’s college career, with Georgia having just kicked the go-ahead field goal he ended his time at Georgia with an exclamation point. Ojulari is aligned opposite the Bearcats Left Tackle as part of a 3 man rush, whilst Georgia are running a prevent defense with the Bearcats needing to go nearly the whole length of the field to score. Ojulari fires out his stance and quickly gets onto the Left Tackle. He executes a cross chop move, flipping his hips whilst controlling the outside arm and wrist of the blocker. He sacks the Quarterback, forcing a fumble which is recovered for a Safety and sealing the win.
Projection: Late Day 1/ Early Day 2 Selection
I believe Ojulari is a day one starter at Outside Linebacker. He’s explosive and physical. He plays the run well and is a fast twitch edge rusher. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if he sneaks into the back end of the first round. I would look at a team like Baltimore to select him should they fail to retain Matthew Judon or Yannick Ngakoue who will both test free agency. I really like Ojulari as a prospect and enjoyed watching his tape.
Games Watched: Tennessee, Alabama , Cincinnati (Peach Bowl)