2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Michigan iOL Olusegun Oluwatimi

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections, and priority undrafted free agents. Today we’ll be profiling Michigan interior offensive lineman Olusegun Oluwatimi.

#55 OLUSEGUN OLUWATIMI, INTERIOR OL, MICHIGAN (rSR.), 6030, 307 LBS

Measurables

Player Ht/Wt Hand size Arm Length Wingspan
Olusegun Oluwatimi 6’3 307 N/A N/A N/A
40 Yard Dash 10 Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
N/A N/A N/A

 THE GOOD

-Experienced lineman who serves as the QB of the OL; good communicator overall
-Very good at overall body positioning, creating seals/lanes in the run game
-Good awareness overall along interior; able to quickly identify stunts/twists and pass them off
-Solid hit rate when working to second level in the run game; consistently puts a hat on a defender
-Works in tandem well on duo and combo blocks; good feel for when to peel off and work to next defender
-Uses hands well independently in pass protection and has displayed a strong snatch/trap
-Shows ability to win hand fighting battles and can anchor/stall out for win in pass protection

THE BAD

-Lacks overall finishing mentality; needs to be better at looking for work in pass protection
-Play strength and power below average overall
-Tends to stop his feet at point of attack in run game; doesn’t move many people off the spot
-Smaller statured player overall, especially on interior
-Slow to anchor against bull rush and can be walked back consistently
-Plays with a high pad level when on the move
-Slow to fire his hands at times and can be caught overextending in pass protection, leading to losses

Bio

-Originally started out his college career at the Air Force Academy before then transferring to Virginia, where he made 32 straight starts at center
-Was a Second Team All-American in 2021 at Virginia, becoming the first-ever Rimington Award finalist in UVA history.
-Transferred to Michigan for 2022 season as a graduate student, started all 14 games at center
-Won the Rimington Award in 2022 and the Outlander Trophy, becoming the first Outlander winner in Michigan history
-Named a Consensus All-American at Michigan
-Key part of the Joe Moore Award winning offensive line at Michigan
-Named an All-Big Ten selection and won the Big Ten’s Sportsmanship Award winner for 2022
-Earned his degree in economics in 2021 from Virginia
-Younger brother, Oluwaseun, is a defensive lineman at Maryland

TAPE BREAKDOWN

When it comes to interior linemen in the 2023 NFL Draft, especially at the all-important center position, few can hold an argument for best center in the class the way Michigan’s Olusegun Oluwatimi can.

After transferring to Michigan ahead of the 2022 season coming off of a dominant final year with Virginia in 2021, where he was a Rimington Award finalist and a Second Team All-American, Oluwatimi more than lived up to the hype following his transfer to Michigan, winning the 2022 Rimington Award and the Outlander Award, becoming the first Outlander winner in Michigan history.

On top of all that, he was a consensus All-American with the Wolverines, too, and was a key piece of the Joe Moore Award-winning offensive  line in the maize and blue.

Though he is a bit undersized, at least in terms of ideal height and weight, at 6’3″ and 300 pounds, Oluwatimi is a sound player overall, one that isn’t flashy, isn’t going to rack up the pancakes and the highlight reel blocks. Instead, he’s consistently in the right place at the right time, landing blocks on the perimeter and at the second level to spring running backs into the clear for big plays, and holds up rather well in pass protection.

 

The first thing I noticed on film with Oluwatimi was his ability on the move to not only reach his target quickly, but do so under control with his base underneath him, winning the rep.

Here against Maryland last season, it’s not a big block on the pull, but he’s able to hook the end of the line defender, creating an edge for the running back. That block above sums up how Oluwatimi wins. He’s going to do it with technique and sound body positioning, rather than with impressive size and strength.

This rep against Iowa was one of my favorites from Oluwatimi.

Pulling to his left on the end around, Oluwatimi is able to not only reach and turn the defensive tackle, he’s then able to reach the defensive end as well and hook him inside, giving the ball carrier the lane outside. Oluwatimi does a nice job staying with the defensive end late in the rep as well, getting just enough of him to spring him the last 10 yards to the end zone.

He’s not going to blow the doors off of scouts with his testing numbers or overall measurements, but you cannot measure the smarts overall and the spatial awareness he puts on display each and every rep.

 

While he’s not going to raise eyebrows with his strength, he does have some impressive upper body torque and power when he needs it.

Watch the way he tosses this defensive tackle from Iowa sideways, winning the rep quickly on the interior, gaining control and putting himself between the defender and the ball carrier. When he needs it, it’s there, but it’s not a huge part of his game overall.

 

Against Penn State last season, Oluwatimi had his best game of the year, earning Player of the Week honors at Michigan. In the win over Penn State, Michigan ran the football at will, and Oluwatimi had a huge hand in that success.

Much like the rep against Maryland earlier, Oluwatimi moves with ease to get to the edge, hooking the Penn State linebacker, creating a huge lane for the Michigan running back to move the chains. His hit rate when on the move is very good overall, meaning when he’s put in space on the move he’s going to get a hat on a defender, which isn’t something every offensive lineman can say.

When working in tandem in duo, Oluwatimi has a great feel overall for when to peel off of the block and climb to the next defender. His spatial awareness is top notch.

 

Here against Penn State again, Oluwatimi works to his left initially, combining with the left guard to displace the defensive tackle, before then peeling off and climbing to the linebacker scraping over into the hole. He times it perfectly and seals off the linebacker, opening a huge lane that goes for an explosive run.

I’d like to see him be a bit more aggressive and powerful initially when working in tandem, helping displace linemen a bit more, but his ability to peel off and land a block consistently is really impressive. He makes it look very natural overall.

 

This is what I mean by just being technically sound. He is very good overall at body positing, ensuring he’s in between his defender and the ball carrier. Oluwatimi does a fantastic job here of going with the Penn State defensive tackle on the slant, walling him off and turning him, sealing the lane for the running back to burst through for the score, putting the game out of reach for good.

Not allowing any penetration on that play and eventually turning the defensive lineman away from the hole was huge on the play. It might not be an eye-popping block, but it was essential to the success of the play.

 

I keep bringing up spatial awareness when it comes to Oluwatimi because it’s so important for interior linemen to have. He has it in abundance. It’s one of his strongest traits. His eyes pick seemingly everything up. Nothing catches him off guard, much like this delayed blitz against Nebraska.

He does a fantastic job initially of throwing his left hand into the Nebraska nose tackle, causing the nose tackle to slow down just enough for the running back to climb up and get a block in pass protection. Quickly though, Oluwatimi works to his right to pick up the blitz, sealing off the linebacker to give the quarterback a clean pocket to operate from.

 

Oluwatimi does have issues in pass protection at times though when it comes to shooting his hands too quickly and getting out over his toes, causing him to get off balance and lose quickly in pass protection.

Watch the way he shoots his hands here against the defensive tackle in the A gap to his right. When he uses independent hands he’s rather good in pass protection, but when he throws his hands together, he can get out over his skis and can lose quickly, much like he does here.

That said, he has a great snatch/trap in his repertoire.

I’d like to see that a bit more from Oluwatimi in pass protection. He’s very good with it overall. Can hit it quickly and efficiently along the interior. He’s good at processing what pass rushers are doing to him, and he was able to feel the defensive lineman off balance in the rivalry game against Ohio State, landing the snatch/trap with ease.

CONCLUSION

Overall, Oluwatimi a personal draft favorite for me. I’ve been rather high on him since he announced his transfer to Michigan. He was rather dominant at Virginia in 2021 and never slowed down in 2022, becoming an essential offensive lineman for the Wolverines.

When it comes to his projection to the NFL, I see him as a potential long-term starter that won’t earn a ton of individual accolades, but is incredibly smart and consistent overall. He doesn’t have the eye-popping power or the flashy athleticism overall like some of the greats at the position at the next level, but he’s going to be a serviceable starter in a zone blocking scheme that can utilize his ability to get out on the move and land blocks.

He reminds me a lot of New England Patriots center David Andrews, who is a bit undersized and doesn’t have the one elite trait, but just consistently gets the job done as part of a solid offensive line overall.

Projection: Late Day 2/Early Day 3

Depot Draft Grade: 7.7 overall Potential Starter/Good Backup

Games Watched: Maryland (2022), Iowa (2022), Penn State (2022), Nebraska (2022), Ohio State (2022), Purdue (2022), TCU (2022)

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