clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Spotlight: Georgia Edge Azeez Ojulari

The Buffalo Bills should be looking for more juice with their pass rush heading into the 2021 season. With the release of versatile defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson this offseason, the only subsequent move the Bills made was for former Carolina Panthers defensive end Efe Obada. Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison are aging on the edge despite each putting up solid production in 2020. The opportunity for general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott to bring a young, explosive pass rusher into the building might be too much to pass up if Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari remains available at pick 30.


EDGE Azeez Ojulari (Georgia) Scouting Report

Measurables: 6’2” 249 lbs

2020 stats: 31 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, four forced fumbles

Year: RS Sophomore

Pro day testing: 4.62 40-yard dash, 30” vertical jump, 10’7” broad jump, 7.27 3-cone, 4.34 20-yard shuttle, 26 bench press reps

Summary

Ojulari was one of the stars of a star-studded Georgia defense in 2020 thanks to his awesome production and explosive rushing style. After two years of contributing, he has proven his worth as a pass rusher. Using speed, explosiveness, and effort, Ojulari finds his wins in different ways despite having a raw rushing arsenal with which to work There are some questions about where he will fit in at the next level due to his stature (249 lbs). Some teams may like him more as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but Ojulari showed the run-support chops to play with his hand in the dirt in the NFL based on his 2020 season. Ojulari is far from a finished product from a technical standpoint, but the tools are there to be developed along with a relentless motor.

Strengths

  • Laboratory body; looks like the first off the bus on a talented Georgia team with a chiseled frame, wide chest, and huge arms
  • Twitched up with the ability to slither off blocks
  • Closing speed to the quarterback is excellent
  • Dog mentality in run support; not afraid to stick a puller and stop him in his tracks
  • Squeezes the line and brings the fight when offensive lines try to target him in the run game
  • Oily rusher; slips by offensive tackles on the outside
  • Uses his lengths well to take control of the rep early on
  • Stronger than his size would indicate; consistently won run support reps against Alabama (2020)
  • Chop move is his favorite (and most effective) rush move
  • Shows flash of an active upper half that allows him to earn leverage on pass-rush reps
  • There are signs with flexibility and dip in his game to free himself and win on the outside shoulder
  • Outstanding balance; won’t see him touch the turf due to contact often
  • No quit in him; Motor stays hot for Ojulari

Weaknesses

  • Move arsenal needs to improve with a couple of “go-to’s”
  • Can overrun his gap on run downs and lose his fit
  • Needs to anchor better in run defending if a lineman wins the initial push
  • Gets to the offensive tackle’s outside shoulder, but needs to learn how to win more consistently once he reaches that point
  • Will need a good nose tackle to play alongside at the next level so he doesn’t garner double teams
  • Some teams may project him to a 3-4 OLB only

Draft projection: Mid to late first round


Why he fits the Bills

Azeez Ojulari has the effort and football mentality that Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott are sure to love throughout this pre-draft process. The main question they will have to answer for themselves is whether they are willing to accept Ojulari’s small stature for a 4-3 defensive end. Despite being undersized, Ojulari has an impressive frame and long arms (a pro day measured 34 3/8”). In 2020, he proved himself as a net positive in run support in the SEC. Jerry Hughes has played in this defense and found success with a similar size profile. Drafting a jumbo end in A.J. Epenesa was the direction the regime went in 2020, but Ojulari is a more sensible incumbent to Jerry Hughes where he can ease his way into the rotation as an athletic, explosive pass rusher. If Ojulari gets the time necessary to refine his hand usage, he could be a homerun pick at 30 if the Bills are able to nab him up.