The Oklahoma State defensive end falls into the category of “athletically limited”. Sure, he was a very good, productive rusher for the Cowboys. Ogbah bagged 13 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss as a senior, building on a 2014 campaign with 11 and 17, respectively.
He’s got the length the Lions have typically coveted at the position at 6’4” and 269 pounds with powerful long arms. The new regime might view it differently, but barring an unforeseen scheme change he optimally fits the physical parameters to play with Ziggy Ansah and Devin Taylor.
So why should the Lions avoid Ogbah?
He’s simply not a great athlete for the position. Without his Combine numbers yet it’s harder to quantify, but there just isn’t a lot of twitch or flexibility to the Nigerian native.
Ogbah compounds this with poor technique…
His NFL.com draft profile is replete with similar negatives,
"Shows some stiffness in his hips and is not a dynamic athlete. Inconsistent awareness. Reaction time can be quick, but awareness of developing plays needs improvement. Short-circuits his point of attack power when he turns his shoulders and gets washed down. Limited stride length hurts upfield burst. One speed pass rusher who is easy to find. Unable to burn the edges with quickness."
Here’s a play against Ole Miss where his stiffness and issues with exposing his chest and surrendering leverage is on full display. This is not Laremy Tunsil or even Fahn Cooper easily riding him out of harm’s way, it’s 230-pound backup tight end Hunter Thurley:
Make no mistake, Ogbah can become a very effective NFL player. But given where he is projected in most current mock drafts, he’s not going to be a dynamic enough player to merit Detroit taking him at No. 16 overall. I wouldn’t take him in the second round either, though it seems quite unlikely Bob Quinn will have to ponder that proposition.
The two most natural player comps for me are Damontre Moore and Quinton Coples. Neither made it to the end of their rookie contracts with the teams that drafted them because (among other reasons, notably with Moore) they just didn’t provide the anticipated bang for the pass rush draft buck. Coples is the better comp, as he happened to go 16th overall to the New York Jets back in 2012. He averaged 23.5 tackles 5.5 sacks per year in his first three seasons in New York. That’s not bad, but the team expected a lot more. I have a strong feeling that will be the case with whomever drafts Ogbah.