David Ojabo would be a perfect fit for the Eagles

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According to a report from John McMullen, the Philadelphia Eagles have their eyes firmly fixed on Michigan EDGE David Ojabo after the NFL Combine. With a flurry of first-round level defensive ends available, why would Howie Roseman develop a soft spot for Ojabo in particular?

The upside

Before we get to what Ojabo can do on a football field, let’s look at the things that leave no room for debate. First and foremost, he’s incredibly raw. At just 21-years-old, Ojabo has all the room in the world to develop.

He also stands at 6’5, 250 lbs, which in itself is impressive. When you partner that with his athletic traits, it becomes genuinely terrifying.

Ojabo is an athletic freak of nature and nothing demonstrates that more than the fact he ran a 4.55 40-yard dash. He has plenty of youth on his side. In fact, he didn’t even play a snap of football until high school and somehow still racked up 35 collegiate offers. He would spend his true freshman year on Michigan’s scout team before garnering special teams action in 2020 and exploding into the scene defensively one season later.

David Ojabo is reminiscent of a Davion Taylor-type prospect in that regard. He had a unique upbringing that limited his footballing exposure, but his athletic upside is that damn scary that teams just can’t help themselves from wanting to see what lies in the rabbit hole.

We know the Eagles have developed an affinity for fundamentally raw players who bring the right mentality and athletic traits to the table that will enable them to be coached into their potential. Look no further than Jordan Mailata, Milton Williams, and Davion Taylor as examples in recent years.

On the field

David Ojabo has all the right boxes ticked before he gets onto the football field, and his play only ticks more. He racked up 35 tackles, 12 TFL, 11 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles in 13 games. Being paired with Aidan Hutchinson certainly helps things, but Ojabo was a dominant force to be reckoned with by his own doing.

What should really intrigue the Eagles isn’t his production, but how he gets it. Ojabo, unsurprisingly, is a speed-rusher by nature…and for a team that struggled in getting to the quarterback in a big way last year, adding someone who can explode off the line and make an impact consistently should be a huge priority.

The lone concern with David Ojabo from a schematic perspective is the fact he’s been frequently lined up in a stand-up role. That’s not to say he can’t make the transition to a more hand-in-the-dirt edge rusher, but it would be fair to say that he lacks some of the necessary bulk to feast against NFL linemen. However, if the Eagles can bolster their interior defensive line and drop in some blitzing linebackers…it may not be that much of a big deal.

The value of David Ojabo

The truth is that if David Ojabo was to enter the draft last year (hypothetically, I know he obviously couldn’t), then he’d likely be a surefire top-10 pick. The fact that he’s surrounded by players like his teammate, Aidan Hutchinson, and then studs like Kayvon Thibodeaux, Jermaine Johnson, and even George Karlaftis may mean that he slips gracefully into the teens and maybe even beyond.

This gives Howie Roseman an opportunity to not only draft a player who would cost them a lot more in another class, but one that conveniently ticks every single box he could ever possibly have. Not only does Ojabo correlate with one of Philly’s biggest draft needs, but he’s the dream Howie fit. Ojabo might not be a day-one contributor, but his upside is absolutely worth taking a punt on, and the Eagles are among those best-poised to pounce on that opportunity.

Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire

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