Coming into this draft, it was clear the Dallas Cowboys needed to upgrade their defense. After selecting two defenders with their first two picks, Dallas continued the trend of sticking to the defensive side of the ball at pick 75. The Cowboys selected defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa out of UCLA.
Osa Odighizuwa had the 4th-most pressures among DTs in this draft class last season (25)— PFF DAL Cowboys (@PFF_Cowboys) May 1, 2021
He played in 5 fewer games than #1, and 3 fewer games in than #2 and #3#Cowboys #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/qeNYJl8suL
Odighizuwa stands at 6’2, 279lbs, and was a four-year contributor at UCLA. In 37 games for the Bruins, Odighizuwa recorded 120 total tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss, and 11.5 sacks.
His senior season at UCLA was by far his most productive. The defensive tackle had six tackles for loss and four sacks in just seven games and was selected to the 1st Team All-Pac-12 team.
The Portland, Oregon native was also a standout player at this year’s Senior Bowl.
The #Bears could look for defensive line depth in the draft, and a guy I love for them is UCLA’s Osa Odighizuwa.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) February 20, 2021
Watch him at 3-tech here. He looked great at the Senior Bowl and shows explosiveness and polished hand usage on tape. pic.twitter.com/Az9LBmWY7z
Here’s what The Pro Football Network had to say about the defensive tackle.
The physical tools are exciting with Osa Odighizuwa. Although he’s only around 6-foot-2, 282 pounds, he’s incredibly dense, and he’s also a near-elite athlete for a defensive lineman. Odighizuwa made the 2020 Feldman’s Freaks list, on which he was documented to have the following skills: “Squatted more than 700 pounds, benches more than 420, has a 32-inch vertical, 15-percent body fat and has eclipsed 20 mph on his GPS.”
Odighizuwa is an athletic nightmare for some interior linemen, and his numbers check out on tape. The UCLA defensive tackle has excellent explosiveness off the line. He can also carry that through gaps in the line as he rushes. Additionally, Odighizuwa has the lateral athleticism to shift around when taking on blockers. This can help him divert lanes as a pass rusher and emerge in front of ball carriers in run defense.
Odighizuwa’s size may seem underwhelming on the surface, but don’t let that fool you. Despite his below-average height measurement, he has uncharacteristically long arms for his height. Odighizuwa uses his elite proportional length to his advantage as well.
His hands can be extremely violent on pass-rushing reps, and he also uses his length to disrupt passers and establish leverage. Being a three-time state wrestling champion at the high school level, the UCLA defensive tackle has an innate understanding of leverage and how to win in those one-on-one situations.
For the Cowboys, Odighizuwa likely will fill a Tyrone Crawford-type role on the defense. He’ll see most of his time on the inside, but his position flex gives him the ability to play some end as well. With a crowded defensive tackle room, Odighizuwa will have to produce to play, but there’s certainly tons of opportunity.
John Owning of the Dallas Morning News believes Odighizuwa could be more productive in the NFL than he was in college.
I think Osa Odighizuwa is going to be more productive in the NFL than he was at UCLA. Hopefully, he'll land somewhere with a scheme that fits his skill set better. I think his performance during Senior Bowl week was a glimpse toward what he can be in the NFL.— John Owning (@JohnOwning) May 1, 2021
With how poor the Dallas defensive tackles performed last season, upgrading the position in the draft was a must. Odighizuwa is a solid addition to the defensive line and has a chance to see some real playing time in year one.