Azeez Ojulari has to be great right away
Looking back at this year’s NFL Draft and it seems as though the New York Giants may have gotten a steal when they landed Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari in the second round at pick number 50.
With how non-existent the Giants’ pass rush was in 2020, they need Ojulari to make an impact right away. Some people believe he will.
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports is putting some pressure on Ojulari by stating that he’s an “instant impact rookie.”
Ojulari did not deserve to have to wait until the 50th pick in the 2021 draft to hear his name called. He was a consistent pressure-creator as a 20-year-old rusher in the SEC at Georgia. And, I get it — the safe assumption with a 6-2, 249-pound edge defender is that he gets worked against the run.
That’s not the case with Ojulari. He sets a mean edge and can rip through blockers to make impact plays in the backfield against the run. But of course the main reason he was selected by the Giants was to get after the quarterback, and the former Bulldogs star has the first-step burst, bend around the corner, speed-to-power conversion, and just enough pass-rushing moves to be a high-caliber pressure-generator in the NFL.
And the Giants are lacking a true alpha at the edge position. Ifeadi Odenigbo was signed in free agency, an underrated pass rusher for years in Minnesota, but Ojulari has more juice. More upside. And I believe he’s good enough right now to be instant impact flying around the edge in New York’s defense.
Even though Ojuarli slid in the draft due to concerns over his knee, the good news is that he didn’t miss a snap during his college career and should be just fine.
With how creative New York defensive coordinator Patrick Graham was last season, I can’t imagine that he won’t figure out how to get Ojulari involved right away while making an instant impact.
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