The New York Giants new-look defensive line is formidable. Jason Pierre-Paul, Johnathan Hankins, Damon Harrison, and Olivier Vernon should give any offensive coordinator pause. They combine size, strength, power, athleticism, and proven production into something that looks like what a Giants' defensive front should look like.
Behind them, are a gaggle of question marks. Jay Bromley looked like he should have been a starter all year long in 2015, but didn't get consistent snaps until injury had exhausted all other options. Kerry Wynn is a high-effort, high-motor player who is a stout run defender, but doesn't offer much in pass rush situations. Owamagbe Odighizuwa is explosively athletic, and strong at the point of attack from his background in a 3-4, but is unproven as a pass rusher.
Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah was one of the most productive defensive ends in college football last year. His production in tackles, tackles for a loss, sacks, and forced fumbles rivaled players like Joey Bosa, Shaq Lawson, and Carl Nassib.
- Prototypical measurements. Good height, long arms, big hands, strong, fast, and explosive.
- Productive throughout his career.
- Flashes a good first step.
- Has the ability to embarrass tackles.
- Reportedly very high character.
- Incredibly inconsistent.
- Limited pass rush repertoire
- Doesn't use his tools to their fullest potential.
- Often looks content to hold a block when he isn't immediately successful.
- Poor short-area quickness (bad 3-cone and short shuttle times)
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 28th
Mocking The Draft - 38th
CBS - 41st
Draft Tek - 27th
Does He Fit With the Giants?
Honestly, Ogbah is what you would get if Jerry Reese ordered a defensive end out of a catalog. Long arms, big hands, explosive, powerful, coachable, and productive, Ogbah is everything the Giants look for in a defensive end.
But it's his inconsistencies that give me pause.
I was surprised by his performance at the combine because I didn't see but flashes of that on tape. Too often, Ogbah seemed content to simply hold a block when his initial rush failed. Without being inside Oklahoma State's meeting room, it's tough to know if that was coached into him -- by all accounts he's a great kid and very coachable -- or if that is simply who he is. If Ogbah is a player who would rather be safe than play all out and make his mistakes out loud, he could be a very frustrating player for defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
Check out former NFL defensive end Stephen White's excellent breakdown of Ogbah's game if you want another take on him.
To me, Ogbah is a mystery (if not a risk). Players with his length and explosive numbers generally do well, and many of his numbers compare to some very good defensive ends. However, players with his short-area quickness generally struggle to be consistent pass rushers. And perhaps that is part of the reason why he isn't consistently dominating offensive tackles (though his inconsistent first step is an issue as well).
Why doesn't he use his length to it's full advantage? Why does he often disappear for series at a time or look content to simply hold a block?
If a coach can unlock his full potential, Ogbah has the tools be a consistent 10-12 sack a year player in the NFL. But my worry with him is that he could also be a player who will always leave you wanting more.