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 I’ll be profiling LSU Edge BJ Ojulari.
#18 BJ OJULARI, EDGE, LSU (JR.) 6030,250 LBS.
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|BJ Ojulari||6’3 250||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|40 Yard Dash||10 Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Shows really good motor and drive
— Super limber and athletic with good bend
— Good straight line speed
— Active hands in pass rush
— Multiple pass rush moves in his arsenal
— Consistently strips the football away when sacking the quarterback
— Underrated strength for his lean frame
— Good fluid movement in pursuit
— Very well respected my coaches and teammates alike, voted team captain
— Shares NFL bloodline being the younger brother of Azeez Ojulari
— Sets the edge really well dropping anchor on pass rush
— Uses good footwork constantly moving and never becoming a target
— Doesn’t consistently shed blocks in the running game
— Lacks the experience with his hand on the ground, only playing stand up in college
— Lacks raw power to manhandle offensive tackles
— Sometimes hesitates to flip hips and run laterally to tackle backs, while staying square TJ the line of scrimmage too long
— Born April 5th 2002 (age 20)
— Grandson to a Nigerian Prince
— Brother of New York Giants Edge Rusher Azeez Ojulari
— 2019 No. 9 weak side defensive end by 247Sports and No. 10 by Rivals
— Played in Pro Football Hall of Fame World Bowl
— Rated a 4-Star by 247Sports, ESPN, and Rivals
— Ranked 14th overall player in Georgia by Rivals
— 2020 played in all 10 games as a freshman while starting in one.
— Finished second on the team with 4.0 sacks while adding 16 tackles and 5.0 tackles for loss
— Made SEC defensive lineman of the week for his game against South Carolina in which he had four tackles and three sacks
— 2021 played in all 13 games while starting in 12
— Led all defensive lineman with 55 tackles and led the team in sacks with 7.0
— Named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for his game against Central Michigan with three tackles and 2.5 sacks
— 2022 Finished the year with 58 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and a forced fumble
BJ Ojulari belongs in the conversation for one of the best edge guys in this class. He’s a very long, lean, athletic edge that bends incredibly well, and he uses hands and his technique really well. He struggles slightly with pass rush against bigger, stronger, heavier tackles, and also in the run game overall. You’d like to see him improve with making moves earlier in the play in order to get off a block and make a tackle before the back gain’s positive yardage.
A lot of these thinner edge types fit the stereotype of being weaker, struggling to shed blocks in the run game, not having a ton of production outside of sacks, but Ojulari is a little different than that. He’s longer and leaner than heavy, but he’s surprisingly strong for his frame. He seems to look a little thinner than his actual weight, but for 250 he is very lean and athletic, and once again surprising. He was a productive guy with 16.5 sacks in his 3 years at LSU. Whether he only be a third down rotational guy to help with keeping guys fresh, or an every down 15 sack a year guy who’s one of the better guys at his position in the league, he’s going to be able to produce immediately collecting sacks.
BJ Ojulari has a motor that runs hot, hot, hot. He’s relentless and absolutely does not take no for an answer when chasing the quarterback. Here on this rep against Auburn, the tackle makes great initial contact when he turns the rush more vertical and is able to use his speed to make the tackle have to play chase. Once he turns on the jets, its over. The guy has a natural ability to knock the football out when hitting the opposing quarterbacks also.
Here is a good example of the importance of hand usage. This tackle has good position, and typically the offensive lineman wins this rep with getting both hands attached to the defender, but given Ojulari’s underrated strength and technique, he’s able to use a clean rip to beat the tackle and make another great sack against the other tigers.
Back to his motor. On this rep, he battles through two blockers to collect the sack. He gets a good hand chop on the tackle to win the edge but immediately gets back help to his side. He the uses a good rip move again to beat it and continues battling through the rep to get the sack.
He has an impressive number of clubs in his bag so to speak. Here he uses a really nice swim move against a much heavier opponent. That is mentally impressive also, as he knows before the rep that he must use a move to his advantage, especially considering strength wasn’t going to be his hope on the given play.
Feet are a huge aspect of his game because he never allows them to die. He never makes himself an easy target or sitting duck. Bigger offensive tackles hope and pray that faster defensive lineman, either play lethargic, or hope that they’re weak players, but because Ojulari is always moving it makes it quite difficult to block him because he doesn’t remain stationary.
I would say at times he needs to be more decisive. He does at times in his tape pause, or hesitate when unnecessary. Here he plays the run well as he pauses and plays lateral to the line of scrimmage as long as he could but he turns his shoulders just slightly late and he misses the running back by just a foot or two. Making a quicker decision to turn his shoulders and commit to inside run allows him to be there earlier and make the tackle on the running back.
Ojulari has a fantastic build for an NFL edge rusher in 2023, given this is now a pass happy league. In any defensive system you can find a package or some form of rotation to get this guy on the field, because he can flat out get to the quarterback. He was very productive for the tigers in his three year stint with them. He makes splash plays and when his team needs them. As I stated above he’s very prone to knocking balls loose when hitting the quarterback and getting back the ball for his offense so he’s someone who’s going to produce splash and bring a fresh, young, exciting face to whichever defense will have him.
I see a lot of Lorenzo Carter when I see Ojulari play, both being long lean athletes with good motors. Two guys that’s are also very handsy. The Steelers by no means should be comfortable with their depth at edge especially outside of their Defensive Player of the Year Outside Linebacker TJ Watt, and pro bowl snub Alex Highsmith, so the team must address the position at some point between march 15th and when the team kicks off in 2023.
Projection: Early Day Two
Depot Draft Grade: 8.2 Future Quality Starter (Second Round)
Games Watched: Vs. Florida (2022) Vs. Ole Miss (2022) Vs. Texas A&M (2022)