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Cowboys NFL Draft Targets: DT Osa Odighizuwa

The Dallas Cowboys were atrocious against the run in 2020, with only the Houston Texans being worse. The quickest way to fix that aspect of your defense is to get excellent contributions from your interior defensive linemen.

America’s Team has solid pieces already in place with Neville Gallimore, Trysten Hill, Antwaun Woods, and Brent Urban. However, there’s still room for improvement, and an underrated prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft could fall to the Cowboys on Day 2 in the form of UCLA’S Osa Odighizuwa.

Odighizuwa didn’t see any action his first year with the Bruins in 2016. A year later, he registered 15 tackles (5.5 tackles for loss), a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a defensive score in a reserves role. He moved into a starting role his sophomore season and tallied 29 tackles (6 tackles for loss), three sacks, two pass breakups, and a forced fumble. As a junior, he upped his game to 46 tackles (10 tackles for loss), 3.5 sacks, and a pass breakup. He would close out his collegiate career with 30 tackles (6 tackles for loss), four sacks, and a pass breakup while garnering First-Team All-Pac-12 honors.

Odighizuwa scouting report via The Draft Network 

Osa Odighizuwa is a good athlete with good agility and balance. He plays with good natural leverage and is tough against the run. He plays with good effort and hustle to locate the football. In the passing game, he offers value on the edge or reduced down inside. He penetrates gaps and uses his good natural leverage as a bull rusher. He has some explosion in his hips and has shown flashes of upside as a rusher. He lacks ideal size, which may hinder him as an every-down player in the NFL unless he’s used as a defensive end.  

Ideal RoleSubpackage rusher.

Scheme FitIn a single gap or even front scheme. Either as a defensive end or tackle.

https://twitter.com/BenFennell_NFL/status/1377353170893090818?s=19

Odighizuma showed improvement every year he took the field at UCLA. He’s been one of the best in the Pac-12 since 2019 at getting pressure on the quarterback and was a standout at the Senior Bowl as the highest-graded defensive player.

Pro Day Numbers

Height: 6’2

Weight: 282

40-yard dash: 4.8

Vertical Jump: 31.5 inches

Broad Jump: 10 feet

Osa Odighizuwa || UCLA Bruins Defensive Line || Career Highlights

Osa Odighizuwa career highlights at UCLA. 90 Total Tackles, 21.5 Tackles for Loss, 7.5 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles, 1 Fumble Recovery. 1st Team Pac 12 (2020). Od…

Odighizuwa was good against the run in college and amassed 27.5 tackles for loss, showing great ability to keep offenses behind the chains. He can play on the edge and the interior, and you can’t beat position flex.

The Cowboys should strongly consider the former Bruin in round 2 or 3 to add to a front seven that wasn’t all that great in 2020.

What do you think?

Matthew Lenix

Written by Matthew Lenix

I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

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  1. Good production. His size and the leverage aspect remind me of that great Viking DT John Randle. Now if we draft him and he turns out to be close to that player, it would be the best pick in a long time.

  2. Notice how many times the word “good” was used in describing this prospect? Translation: “mediocre.” Not a single “very good,” or “excellent,” or “outstanding.” Just like most every free agent and draft pick Dallas goes after, they are all just “good.” SMH

  3. He sounds like Gallimore and Hill. Do we need another undersized penetrator? If the goal is a pure pass rusher shouldn’t we be seeking a DE? Not a bad choice but might be reflective of not having confidence that Gallimore and Hill will pan out.

    I wouldn’t take him in the 2nd/3rd rd though. Too many other pressing needs. Would prioritize a behemoth DT that can clog the middle and engulf ball carriers.

  4. Agreed Gary b , I’d prefer Tyler Shelvin , Jerome Johnson , Tedarrell Slaton , or Naquan Jones , all of which are big body run stuffers which you can get cheap , anywhere from 3rd-6th rounds

  5. I’m getting to where I treat my DTs like how i treat my Centers in 2k , give Steph or shooters and give me a big rebounder at center , like Boban (YOU RANGGGG ? ) Marjanovic , give me those big DTs , and I’ll let my DEs get to QB

  6. THROWupthex88- Yea the DT is similar to the defensive minded center that clogs the middle, doesn’t need the ball in his hands and lets the stars shine and make plays. Unsung hero who’s value isn’t reflected in the stat line.

    Andrew Bogut was a guy that fit that role perfectly for the Warriors. He would pick teams apart with his great passing from the high post, similar to how jokic for Denver does it. But Jokic is a superior offensive player.

  7. I agree with crash I have zero faith in the decision makers they seem to do jobs their not qualified for just because they can but back to the article I wish they would once get a huge space eating DT they don’t cost that much and I believe they are a very important part of a good defense making everyone around them better

  8. People speak as if this team has never valued a 1-tech DT. That’s just not the case. Now there’s been instances where a DC like Marinelli didn’t necessarily desire/require that kind of player, but that’s the team bending to a DC’s whim (no problem with that either). But as soon as Marinelli walked away, this team tried to get that position filled, they just made a poor choice (Poe), and they thought Woods could back him up (not start). I’m not particularly impressed with this year’s FA selections either, but at least they building the position up.

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