2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Azeez Ojulari
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: Ojulari was tough off the edge for the Bulldogs over the last two years, providing a real presence for their defense. In 2019, Ojulari worked his way onto the field and recorded 36 tackles with 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He was more consistent as a pass rusher in 2020 even though his sack total remained the same - 5.5. He also picked up 27 tackles, two forced fumbles and two passes batted in 2020.
As a pass rusher, Ojulari is a mixed bag. He has some good traits that lead to him getting to the quarterback, but he also faces some significant limitations for the NFL. On the negative side, Ojulari is not a pure speed demon off the edge who has the explosiveness to run by offensive tackles. He also lacks pass-rushing moves, and he can really struggle to get off blocks at times. Ojulari has the arm length to keep tackles away from him, but when they get into his chest and lock onto him, he can really struggle to get free of blockers. Ojulari's undersized height and length come into play there, and getting off blocks is going to be an issue against NFL offensive tackles. On the plus side as a pass rusher, Ojulari plays really hard and tough. He has some functional strength with an ability to close when he runs free. Ojulari has a good motor and doesn't quit on plays with a relentless attitude.
In the ground game, Ojulari plays hard, and he uses his length in this phase as well. Ojulari is a good pursuit run defender who charges hard and has some strength as a tackler. He could have issues in the NFL with handling runs coming downhill straight at him. Thus, he has some scheme limitations.
Ojulari's best fit as a pro could come as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He lacks the size and length to be a 4-3 defensive end. In a 4-3, he would have to move to outside linebacker and rush off the edge in the sub package.
Ojulari made the most of his strengths to create some steady rush for Georgia, but his pass-rush ability could be reduced significantly by NFL offensive tackles. Many teams have Ojulari graded on the second day of the 2021 NFL Draft, but he could have a shot at being a late first-round pick because it only takes one team to fall in love.
Player Comparison: Noah Spence. Multiple team sources said Ojulari was similar to Spence. Spence (6-2, 251) and Ojulari are almost identical in size and have some skill-set limitations. Spence was a high second-round pick by Tampa Bay in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he was a disappointment and has ended up being a backup-caliber pass rusher. I could see Ojulari having a similar career.
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