As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here’s a look at B.J. Ojulari.
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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: B.J. Ojulari (DE – LSU)
DE B.J. Ojulari, Louisiana St.
6’3″ – 244 lbs.
Nigerian immigrant whose brother is Giants end Azeez Ojulari, a 2021 second-round pick. Originally committed to Tennessee before ending up at LSU. Played 314 snaps as a 230-pound freshman, ending up with 16-5.0-4.0 and 12 stops before stepping into a starting role in 2021 and finishing with 53-11.5-7.0 and 29 stops over 697 snaps. Went 58-8.5-5.5 this past season over 747 snaps.
Has been productive since arriving on campus, with escalating responsibilities. Took snaps on both ends of the line, and would occasionally stand up and rush out of a two-point stance. Highly athletic edge who plays with a strong motor from snap to snap; brings explosiveness and urgency to the defense. Active with his hands to work his way through traffic. Plays with discipline, remembering his responsibilities in the team’s run fits. Able to chase down opponents from the backside. A pretty dangerous pass-rusher who regularly varies his approach. Gets good extension with his arms and shows solid leg drive after contact, allowing him to convert speed to power better than anticipated.
Flashes the ability to use his rip/shoulder dip to threaten with speed, showing impressive flexibility around the corner. Mixes in inside moves, with good quickness/suddenness to generate pressure and create room for his speed rushes on subsequent snaps. Uses a tight spin to redirect back inside, and as a go-to move. Highly effective on stunts and twists. Can shuffle to find a path into the backfield and closes quickly when he’s in position. Has the coordination, flexibility and speed to drop into coverage, showing balance and clean footwork with his backpedal to get depth. Coverage duties expanded from 30 snaps in 2021 to 67 this past year.
Game-to-game productivity varied, and a relatively large share of his sophomore-year output came against lower-quality competition. Has gained 14 pounds since his freshman season, but is still undersized, looking a little bit thin in the lower body. Has some minor issues with contact balance which crop up from time to time. Often the last lineman to react to the ball being snapped. Lapses into getting upright out of his stance instead of firing out. More reactive than anticipatory in the run game. Doesn’t always have a clear plan as a rusher at this point; can rely too much on his physical/athletic tools. Gets stuck on blocks when his initial move doesn’t work; more active than someone with a deep repertoire of counters.
Currently in the mix to be one of the top handful of pass-rushers off the board, as a potential primary option who has the intensity, explosiveness and flexibility teams look for off the edge, particularly because most of his shortcomings should be possible to address with some extra time/coaching, namely adding additional strength, firing out with better leverage and honing his rush moves/counters. Might fit best as a rush linebacker in an odd front.
Projection: Round 1-2
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