Sep 12, 2015; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (38) tackles Central Arkansas Bears wide receiver Blake Gardner (80) during the second half at Boone Pickens Stadium. Cowboys won 32-8. Mandatory Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports
Few commodities are more precious in a draft than pass rushers. Especially ones that have the ability to move around. Emmanuel Ogbah looks like one of those types of players. His production is impressive and there are few reasons to hold him back from declaring. So where does he stand in his 2016 NFL draft scouting report?
School: Oklahoma State
Weight: 275 lbs
Oklahoma State has developed a reputation for producing quality defensive players over the past few years and Ogbah could be one of the best to come around in a long time. He has steadily improved since arriving as a freshman in 2013 when he had 20 tackles and four sacks.
Last year he bumped that up to 50 tackles and 10 sacks in 13 games and now he’s set to surpass that mark as he already has 49 tackles and 10.5 sacks in 10 games. That includes 14.5 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles. He seems to have all the trappings of a top tier defensive lineman, against both the run and pass.
- Good eyes and awareness of where the ball is going. Rarely caught off guard by fakes or misdirections.
- Shows enough athleticism to warrant versatile use. Can play with his hand in the dirt but also rush from a two-point stance.
- Long arms that prove highly effective when he is able to get his hands extended.
- High motor. Rarely gives up on a play until the whistle.
- Power is evident in his upper body. Can really push blockers around when he can a mind to.
No, this is not a sack play but that is not the point. This shows everything that Ogbah is and can be: the length, the power and the motor. He drives the left tackle backwards with strength and leverage so much that he forces the quarterback to unload the ball before he’s ready. Though the play results in a first down, that kind of pressure will lead to offensive mistakes in the NFL.
- Burst off the snap isn’t very explosive. Gives offensive linemen an extra split second to setup for blocks.
- Needs to get better with his hands. Undisciplined and lacks punch. Too often lets the blockers get theirs on him first.
Note how Ogbah is able to position his body in between the two blockers here. By the look of it he should be able to blow right through and into the face of the quarterback. Instead his lack of burst and inconsistent hands allow them to keep him at bay and complete the pass.
- Lacks a consistently effective inside counter move. Too often goes to the outside and can be run out of the play, allowing the QB to step up into the pocket.
- Not overly fast. More mobile quarterbacks will find it easy to get away from him if they avoid the initial rush.
Pro Comparison: Michael Bennett
Please keep in mind this comparison is based more on dimension and physical tools, not accomplishment. Ogbah exhibits many of the same traits that star Seattle Seahawks pass rusher Michael Bennett has from the size to the strength and deceptive athleticism. He can rush from a multitude of angles, inside or outside and is hard to block when his hands and long arms are used with the proper fundamentals and discipline.
Projection: 2nd to 4th Rounds
Though he can rush standing up, it’s clear that Ogbah fits best as a 4-3 defensive end in the pros. That will pigeon hole his draft stock a bit, coupled with a few questions about his explosiveness and inconsistent mechanics. Still, his power, length and relentlessness are what make quality pass rushers in football. Somebody will get him in Day 2 and quickly find he can be a long-term starter.