The 2020 NFL season is within our grasps! News has been coming out of camps about players who look great, and others not exactly as we hoped. With this atypical off-season we’re seeing a plethora of injuries. It’s likely we will see more coming as well. Players that remain unsigned may be getting offers from teams before we know it. Ifeadi Odenigbo has quietly become a strong sleeper candidate.
Ifeadi Odenigbo’s 2019 Statistics: 18 Solo, 5 Ast, 7 TFL, 7 Sacks, and 1 FF.
I’ve been waiting to write this piece for awhile. I was waiting for a certain someone to get signed, or re-signed. Thankfully, it finally happened! Ifeadi Odenigbo has his chance to make his mark in Minnesota. He is a product of Northwestern, not exactly a big football school. However, Odenigbo was a standout athlete there and was drafted into the NFL for a reason. A 7th-round draft pick by the Vikings in 2017, Odenigbo has had a slow rise to where he is now. It wasn’t easy for him, as he has bounced around a few teams since entering the league. Finally, in 2019, he gave the Vikings a reason to keep him around! He also gets to compete with new team member Yannick Ngakoue for snaps.
With ex-teammate Everson Griffen signing with the Dallas Cowboys, the way was paved for Ifeadi to receive more snaps at the defensive end spot opposite Danielle Hunter! We all know Hunter is one of the best IDP players to have on your fantasy squad, and is sure to grab the attention of opposing offenses most games. This gives Odenigbo the chance to make some big plays, which he proved capable of doing at times last season. He was even able to deliver a beloved IDP touchdown in week 15 against the Chargers. With his 7 sacks, he showed his ability to get after the quarterback. He also logged 7 tackle for losses. He knows how to get into the backfield.
I can't wait to see #Vikings DE Ifeadi Odenigbo in an expanded role this season. Last year, he was very disruptive on a rotational basis.
Ifeadi has a nice blend of speed, power and bend. He never quits on a rush and brings so much energy to the defense. pic.twitter.com/58WUIRSfid
— Daniel House (@DanielHouseNFL) June 22, 2020
At 26-years old, Ifeadi still has a lot to prove. He has had a chance to learn from two great veterans in Hunter and Griffen. Many defensive ends would envy such tutoring! Odenigbo is certainly in place to play a key role in the Vikings’ defense, making him a perfect sleeper candidate in 2020! He really thrived in his situational role in 2019. He made plays when it counted most. August 30th, we heard the news that Yannick Ngakoue was traded to the Vikings. This does put a damper on some of the hype of Odenigbo. Yannick will probably end up starting opposite of Hunter. But, Odenigbo will get a shot to get some meaningful snaps. Last season, he played about 368 defensive snaps. We hope that will increase closer to the 600 range.
I know this isn’t exactly important for his IDP production, but his real name is Ifeadikachukwu Anthony Odenigbo. That’s a mouthful, right? Easy to understand why it’s shortened to Ifeadi. Just wanted to throw that little tidbit in there. Odenigbo conditioned himself this off-season, preparing himself for a larger role in the Vikings’ defense and those increased snaps. This says a lot about his work ethic, just one his many traits the coaching staff has praised. Odenigbo has come a long way from where he began after being drafted. The Ngakoue trade could be just another reason to work even harder and prove he is worthy of starting for Minnesota.
Ifeadi claims to be moving faster and is ready to take on the increased role. He says he owes that to his teammates and the coaches for giving him the chance to play in the NFL. Currently, Odenigbo is being taken around the 22nd or 23rd round. He’s also about the 30th defensive linemen being drafted. This could change after the big trade for Yannick. This does give you a chance to wait a bit before selecting him. Considering his value, he could end up being a DL2-3 for your IDP fantasy squad. Do I think he outplays Hunter or Ngakoue? No, but anything can happen. Ifeadi Odenigbo is set to be a sleeper in 2020 for IDP at the defensive end position!