The IDP world is always changing and owners need to keep their eyes open for value. Last year the Giants invested a third round pick in former UCLA defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa. He came into the league a bit banged up and ended his rookie season quite early on injured reserve with a foot injury, although the Giants called it a hamstring issue. There is something of great value there buried behind a newly beefed up New York defensive line. I decided to re-review five of his 2014 collegiate games against Virginia, USC, Utah, Texas, and Arizona State, and it was clear this Giant has the skill set to wreak havoc in the NFC East and beyond. Here are my thoughts:
DE – Owamagbe Odighizuwa, NY Giant formerly of UCLA 6’ 3” 267 lbs.
Although, the aftermath did not show on the game tape I viewed, the former Bruin had hip surgeries in 2013, which caused him to miss that entire year. This injury may have affected his last season’s performance and might sap his fluidity. Once Odighizuwa comes out of his stance in pass rushing situations, he can get tunnel vision on the quarterback and tends to over pursue, while getting much too high, letting blockers into his body.
The Giant defensive lineman lined up at both defensive end spots and occasionally kicked inside to defensive tackle. He mostly used a four-point stance off the line of scrimmage, but sometimes would stand up like a linebacker near the line. Odighizuwa has a quick first step and gets great initial penetration off the snap. The New York defender explodes towards the blocker in front of him and does a good of job of knocking them on their heels. By keeping his arms extended, this defensive end does not allow the offensive lineman into his body, which makes it easier to shed them away.
He uses a combination of bull rushes, spin moves, and dips underneath the shoulder pads of the blocker to swim around on his way to the quarterback. Odighizuwa uses his power to cause the most punishment when he gets his hands on the signal caller. This is usually on the mind of the quarterback, which systematically forces the throw earlier than intended. When the defender can’t get to the passer, he makes sure his arms extend to swat the ball or at least cloud the passing lane.
Against the run, this defensive end disengages with his blockers quickly, filling his assigned gap or crashing down the line to find the pigskin. Additionally, the young Giant has a great motor and pursues plays downfield once the ball carrier gets past the line of scrimmage. Odighizuwa often forces double teams, to clear him out-of-the-way, when offenses run to his side, because the defender anchors so well. Teams shouldn’t underestimate his strength either, as he can be occupied by a blocker, while still sliding down reaching out with one hand to take a player down.
Odighizuwa was an impressive defender in college, but must get healthy in order to become a consistent and productive NFL defender. It might be a blessing in disguise for him to come off the bench in his second season, behind Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul. He is usually an afterthought in most startup drafts and could give owners huge upside in year three to patient owners.
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