David Ojabo Never Should’ve Been A First Rounder

Our thoughts on David Ojabo are about to make some Michigan fans really mad.

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Paul Rochon: I want to evaluate Ojabo a little bit pre-injury and here are some things that people like to gloss over and forget about. I know he’s raw and he’s only been playing football for six, seven years. He is not near a complete player, and I don’t just mean as a pass rush specialist, which he is not complete yet either.

This guy that we thought was a top 15 pick was the expectation coming in after the season, he was so good that at times Michigan had to take him off the field because he couldn’t hang in the run game. I’m drafting a guy that doesn’t have the strength or the experience to be an edge guy to play on that outside.

And he’s a minus in the run game. That’s not a first-round pick to me. Listen, I’m all about high ceiling talent. And I like his attributes and the potential he has as a pass rusher. But, in college, I had to pull him off the field because he was a liability in the run game. Jaylen Harrell got all kinds of time splitting with David Ojabo because he could actually defend the run, a not nearly as talented player.

That’s red flag number one. Okay. That’s not it. Listen. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bad player. It doesn’t mean he can’t develop. He’s very raw, but he is so far from a finished product. We’re not talking about Aiden Hutchinson. He is nowhere in the realm of Aiden Hutchinson. 

As you alluded to, playing opposite, arguably the best of the best defensive players in all of college football, certainly up there, is going to help you. It’s going to help you produce more.

Now, listen, I always thought Ojabo was going to be pretty good. And he has flashed for Michigan before. He has practiced really well by all accounts. Anyone that you would ask staff-wise, Ojabo, who’s been on this trajectory for a long time and he has elite talent, but he’s very far from a complete football player.

Here’s where it gets scary. The injury that he suffered to me, is just about the worst injury you can have in most major sports. The problem with an Achilles is yes, we have a quicker recovery time, as we saw with Cam Akers. The problem with an Achilles and I have not seen an exception, genuinely. Anyone that wants to suggest in the comments of this video, on this clip, exceptions, I will gladly go over them with you and explain to you why they are not exceptions.

You never recover the same level of explosion, ever, from an Achilles injury. It does not happen. There are no exceptions, not Kevin Durant, not Cam Akers, not Ryan Broyles, quite a few years ago in Detroit. You are not the same explosive athlete, post Achilles injury.

It doesn’t mean you’re done, or your career is over, or that you are unplayable but it does mean you will never have the same burst. It doesn’t mean you will not have another burst, but it’s never going to be the same. David Ojabo’s entire thing right now is predicated on his burst in agility to get to the pass rusher.

That is what he was being drafted as a mid-first-round pick on. He will never have that again. And we don’t know at what level it’s going to be affected before. But now I’m talking about a guy who already had question marks and now he has a debilitating injury that he will never be the same from. And I don’t know how much it’s going to affect him, but you want me to waste a first or second or even third-round pick on hope?

A.J. Reilly: So where are you drafting them from? That’s the question? 

Paul Rochon: Fourth round or later. I’m not using a day one or two pick on them.

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Written by Amy Price

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