Azeez Ojulari is a highly recruited edge NFL prospect coming out of Georgia. I am here to tell you how his brother B.J. out of LSU may be the better prospect.
The SEC is where most of the nation’s top NCAA football talent reside. In this case the SEC bolsters a brother duo that both have early round draft stock for their projected drafts. Azeez Ojulari is a redshirt sophomore who plays for the Georgia Bulldogs and his brother B.J. Ojulari is a true freshman at LSU. In this article we are going to be breaking down the old brother Azeez and check out his draft stock.
Azeez Ojulari’s NCAA Career to Date
Azeez Ojulari was a four star recruit and 10th ranked weakside defensive end leading up to his freshman year at Georgia per 247 sports. He was a highly recruited and was offered an unbelievable 30 scholarship offers from schools including Auburn, Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and also Georgia who he officially committed to. During his true freshman season he missed all but two games for the Bulldogs with a torn ACL. This allowed him to redshirt for his freshman year. During his redshirt freshman season his pass rushing ability was put on display.
Ojulari won two post season team awards, The Defensive Most Improved Player and the Strength and Conditioning award. He finished leading the team in QB pressure with 34 and a team high 5.5 sacks. Ojulari also played big time as a freshman during his first bowl game against Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. He finished with five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
Georgia has played six games so far this season. To date Ojulari is sixth on the team in tackles with 22, a team high 6.5 tackles for a loss (also 3rd in the entire SEC), and 3.5 sacks which also leads the team. He is also well on his way to smashing his QB pressures total form 2019 of 34. Through six games he already has 20 QB pressures. Ojulari was named the SEC player of the week after his brilliant performance against Tennessee. During that game he finished with five tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.
In the game against Auburn he finished with five tackles, two for a loss, and a sack to go along with five more QB pressures. These two games show that he belongs with the top talent in the nation as he is showing dominance in the SEC. As of now he is on the midseason watchlist for the Chuck Bednarik award, an award given to the nation’s top defensive player.
Azeez Ojulari Scouting Report
Azeez Ojulari has many of the traits that you want to see out of your edge defenders. He has an array of solid pass rushing moves, most notably good hand usage and a swim move to help fight offensive lineman off of his chest. Ojulari comes off of the edge and has great bend to get around offensive tackles. Watch here the level of bend he has against this Tennessee offensive lineman to get the strip sack:
#UGA EDGE Azeez Ojulari (6’3, 240, rSO) is one of the biggest risers on the TDN Top 100 Big Board. Unique ability to bend, dip, and corner and he’s already extremely crafty with his hands. pic.twitter.com/s4ReJiJaUg
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) October 27, 2020
Ojulari has a super high motor and has on more than one occasion come up with a tackle in pursuit from behind the ball carrier. He has shown good scheme versatility as he plays both standing up, like in the clip above, and with his hand in the dirt as you see here:
— GEORGIA HEROES (@GeorgiaHeroes) November 2, 2019
This clip also showcases one of his favorite and most effective moves, the faint outside, then burst inside for the pressure. When asked to, Ojulari has also shown an ability to drop in coverage when asked to do so, allowing the defense to mask itself better and keep the offense guessing. When Ojulari shows patience, he does a great job reading the play and does a great job getting into the backfield creating the tackle for a loss. Watch here as he gives the play a moment to develop and makes the great play in the backfield:
Not fooling Azeez Ojulari… pic.twitter.com/bOpzvP9P6p
— Matt DeBary (@MattDeBary) October 4, 2020
His athleticism shows up on almost every play and he has terrific burst for an edge.
Ojulari need to show better recognition when setting the edge. He has a high propensity to funnel to far inside when the play starts which makes beating him on the edge incredibly easy for offensive lineman. This also shows a lack of the ability to diagnose plays pre-snap. There are too many times when he reacts a bit late on running plays. He needs to work on his strength a bit, when offensive lineman get their hands on him he gets worked off of his block too easily. There are also times where Azeez is a bit overaggressive in his pursuit. Too often he is trying to come off the edge and rush as opposed to setting the edge which allows the running lane to open up on his end. He is also a bit thin for the edge position, he has a lean frame at 240 lbs.
Azeez Ojulari is a terrific edge prospect that has shown that he can play in all defensive schemes, either as an outside linebacker or a defensive end. He is very explosive and as a redshirt sophomore already is the best pass rusher on one of the nation’s top teams in all of football. His vast array of pass rush moves show a very versatile skill set and mix that with his athleticism and you have so much to work with. He needs to work on his play diagnosis and also needs to fill out his frame a bit but his pure athleticism and physical tools mask his deficiencies. If he can fill out and work on his pre snap diagnosis, he has the ability to have a very long and productive NFL career.