With the college season well in the books and the Super Bowl having just concluded, draft season is in full effect. Throughout these next few months, the talk is likely going to be centered around the big name, high profile top prospects. Players such as Nick Bosa, Kyler Murray, and Quinnen Williams are sure to dominate national headlines. But part of what makes this time of year captivating is the ability to discover some of the smaller school standouts that FCS and Division II schools have to offer. One such player is Pace University OL Lawrence Omolayo.
Thankfully I had the chance to both ask Omolayo questions and review his tape. Each is below.
Jersey #: 72
Positions: G, T
Weight: 315 lbs.
40 Yard Dash: 5.26
Bench: 325 lbs.
Squat: 545 lbs.
Deadlift: 475 lbs.
Omolayo started every single game for the Setters over the last two years. He was a second-team All-Conference player who helped lead Pace to the 4th highest rushing total in the conference. Team captain and general accounting major. Straight line prospect best used as a physical and nasty inside mover. Played both tackle and guard throughout his career, particularly left guard, but his lack of foot quickness makes a permanent switch inside probable. Movement skills are lacking and often looks uncomfortable when asked to pull or move in space. Zone type concepts and schemes are not ideal given his “mauler” tendencies.
Aggressive and gritty demeanor bode extremely well towards his future. Always finishes his blocks and plays right through the whistle. Consistently seeks out work and initiates contact. Looked like a man amongst boys at times during his collegiate career, and has a strong tendency to climb to the second level in the run game. Doesn’t just want to block you, he wants to drive straight through your soul. An abundance of pancake blocks and literal throwdowns are confirmation of this.
Grabby hand usage, but knows when to let go at the right time. Squares up defenders well in pass protection. Strong grip and wide frame allow for extended control and make it tougher for defenders to sprint the arc or drive him back. Naturally low center of gravity can generate a consistent push. Pad “pops” are quite impressive and displays quality leverage on a routine basis. Coordination skills, agility, and overall athleticism are concerning. Straight up dominated the Division II level, especially physically, but the pro transition will loom large. Won’t be able to use his size nearly to the same capabilities which is a definite issue.
Ultimately a fun prospect with a refreshing throwback style. NFL odds may be slim given athleticism and small-school pedigree, but his raw power and elite effort should intrigue many OL coaches. Hopefully given a chance to prove his worth and latch on to a team as a Priority Free Agent.
NFL Comparison: Jamon Brown OG New York Giants
— Larry Omolayo (@LawrenceOmolayo) November 13, 2018
The Pace University product was kind enough to answer an interview provided by yours truly. Here’s a transcript on what transpired.
Question: Is there a specific Offensive Lineman you try and model your game after? If so, why?
Lawrence Omolayo: Zack Martin (Dallas Cowboys Right Guard). He’s dominant in this game as an elite guard and one who I use as a blueprint to see how I can improve my game.
Question: During the pre-draft process, what has been your main focus as a prospect?
Omolayo: My focus has mainly been on my footwork and agility. It’s important to show scouts my ability to move in space and change direction well.
Question: What types of things can you bring to a professional club should they decide to take a chance on you?
Omolayo: Some traits I can bring are dominance in run-blocking, the ability to work and be coachable, and strong leadership ability.
Question: One of the first things that “pops” on your tape is the ability to get nasty and finish blocks. Can you speak more to your aggressive mentality on the football field?
Omolayo: It comes straight from my “dog” mentality that I have. Whoever is going up against me will get dominated until they give up.
Question: Finally, what’s one important thing that everyone reading should know about you?
Omolayo: That whoever takes a chance on me won’t regret it, and that they’re going to be getting a workhorse who will do anything to help a team succeed.
It was an enjoyable experience to be able to chat with Omolayo and watch some of his 2018 film. This is a prospect with some quality traits despite the ‘Small School” tag, and the Pace University product has a legitimate chance to carve out a pro football career, potentially even in the knew AAF league. After all, Lawrence is exactly the type of player that makes draft season so enjoyable. It’s not just about the elite prospects. Heck, it’s not even just about the prospects who get selected. It’s about finding those diamonds in the rough no matter who they are or where they’re from. And Omolayo may just be one of them.
Thanks for reading! For more NFL Draft-related content, feel free to check out my past articles or follow me on Twitter at @CDonScouting.