NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
I think I may have found my first “binkie” of this years draft class. Most of you know what the terms means, but just in case, let me give you my version of what draft “binkie” means. This is a player or players that you fall in love with and think are a perfect fit for your team. “Binkies” can do no wrong and the team should do whatever they must to insure this player is on the team. These players do not necessarily have to be early draft picks, in fact, most are later guys with crazy athleticism or size that you think your favorite team could develop into a star. I got lucky last year as the Patriots did indeed draft one of my “binkies,” Dominique Easley. I had him rated as the 4th best player in the entire draft and didn’t care about the health problems. This year, another player with health concerns has entered “binkie” status, will I get lucky two years in a row? Let’s find out why I like Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
Name: Owamagbe Odighizuwa (pronounced Oh-wah-MAH-bay Oh-DIGGY-zoo-wah)
School: UCLA (Sr.)
Weight: 266 Lbs.
Odighizuwa is a versatile player with good size. He has a powerful frame with long arms. In college, he played DE and OLB in the 3-4 as well as DE and as the under tackle in the 4-3. Odighizuwa plays with good power, leverage and technique. He has a non stop motor and is consistently disrupting plays, both in the run game and pass game. Odighizuwa has very active hands and good arm extension, which leads to his ability to stack and shed offensive linemen. In the run game, Odighizuwa shows good power to set the edge. In the passing game, he flashes good athleticism and good bend to be a pass rush threat. He has a nice first step and will beat his opponent with a variety of moves when rushing the passer.
The biggest issue with Owamagbe Odighizuwa is typing and pronouncing his name. In all seriousness, the big issue with Odighizuwa are the medical concerns. He has had multiple hip surgeries which required him to miss the entire 2013 season. He really only has one year of significant playing time and production. Odighizuwa does not possess elite speed and at times would be a step late when rushing the passer. He won with power, technique, and his non stop motor in college and that lack of true speed could be a concern at the next level.
I think my opening probably tipped you off that I am all in on this guy, injury concerns and all. I don’t like to do player comparisons because in truth, I am not very good at it, but when I watch Odighizuwa I see Mike Vrabel or a rich man’s Rob Ninkovich if you need a current player comparison. Josh Norris coined the phrase “disruption is production” and that describes Odighizuwa to a T. He is all over the field and he is consistently making the play or doing something to allow someone else to make the play. Odighizuwa may not put up eye popping sack numbers, but put into this Patriots scheme, I think he could be productive as a pass rusher. He gets a first round grade from me and will be high on the list when I do my overall rankings.
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