2021 NFL Draft: UCLA IDL Osa Odighizuwa scouting report

2021 NFL Draft prospect Osa Odighizuwa #92 of the UCLA Bruins (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
2021 NFL Draft prospect Osa Odighizuwa #92 of the UCLA Bruins (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

The 2021 NFL Draft class is not exactly loaded with talent on the interior defensive line. There are a couple of fringe first-round prospects in the class but as a whole, the position lacks impact talent at the top. That being said, there are a couple of interesting mid-round interior defensive line prospects who undoubtedly have exciting upside at the next level. Today, we are going to dig into the game of UCLA’s Osa Odighizuwa.

Odighizuwa was a four-year contributor at UCLA who displays exciting upside as an interior rusher. Odighizuwa is listed at 6-foot-2, 279 pounds, which is obviously under-sized for an interior player but he flashes exciting athletic upside and penetration skills that should translate well to the next level.

Osa Odighizuwa, IDL, UCLA

2020 stats (7 games): 30 total tackles, six tackles for loss, four sacks
Career stats (37 games): 120 total tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, four passes defended, two forced fumbles

Statistics come via Sports-Reference

Odighizuwa’s upside as an interior rusher is obvious on tape. He is extremely quick off of the ball and does a great job of gaining ground immediately on the interior. Odighizuwa is an explosive interior penetrator who is able to get vertical quickly and immediately threatens the outside shoulder of the offensive guard.

While Odighizuwa lacks ideal power on the inside, he does a great job of maintaining proper pad level. He stays low through the gap, which makes him an even more difficult player to block when firing through the gap. He creates immediate pressure as a one-gap penetrator and also shows exciting flexibility as an interior player. His ability to fire through the gap, turn the corner and attack the quarterback is incredibly impressive.

Odighizuwa’s lack of power is evident when he attempts to bull rush. He has limited power in his hands and can get blown off of the ball if he does not fire off the ball and penetrate through the line of scrimmage immediately. In an ideal world, Odighizuwa would be able to put about 10 pounds on his frame while not hurting his explosive athleticism. If he can pull this off, he could step in and become a full-time player at the next level.

That being said, as currently constructed, Odighizuwa will struggle against the run at the next level. His upside as an interior pass rusher is obvious but he will struggle at times against powerful offensive guards. If he cannot add to his frame, Odighizuwa will be limited to a part-time role at the next level.

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Even if this is the case, he still has exciting upside as an interior rusher who can make an immediate impact on passing downs. Ideally, Odighizuwa would land on a team with an aggressive defense that will allow him to attack on the inside. He may grow into more of a full-time player down the line but even if that does not work well, he still has exciting upside as an interior rusher on obvious passing downs.