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Cowboys draft 2023 scouting report: Texas defensive lineman Moro Ojomo

The Texas native would be a great addition through the draft to the Cowboys defense.

Valero Alamo Bowl - Washington v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

A continuing series of scouting reports for potential Cowboys draft picks.

Name: Moro Ojomo
Position: iDL
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 292 pounds

Moro Ojomo Career Stats, courtesy of Sports Reference

Combine Results: 5.04 40-yard dash, 33” vertical, 9’4” broad, 29 bench press reps

Moro Ojomo has a fascinating story. Born in Nigeria, Ojomo and his family moved to California when he was eight years old. He had already been in school for five years at that point, and when his family later moved to Houston, he enrolled at Katy High School as a 12 year old.

Ojomo didn’t start playing football until his junior year of high school, largely because (by his own admission) he hadn’t learned how to work out yet. Once Ojomo did step onto the football field, though, he was a natural. The three-star prospect earned offers from a ton of schools, including Alabama, Oklahoma, and Oregon, but he opted to join the Longhorns shortly after Tom Herman had just completed his first season as the head coach.

Ojomo was just 16 years old when he first enrolled at Texas, a rarity even today. He played in one game as a true freshman, retaining his redshirt year, before getting action as a rotational defender the next year. He became a starter in 2020, but the season was shortened by COVId-19. Ojomo remained with the Longhorns following the coaching change from Herman to Steve Sarkisian, and he finally had his chance to breakout. Now, he is ready to enter the NFL at just 21 years old with a total of five years of experience under his belt.

Burst: Ojomo is sudden and violent off the line of scrimmage. He catches offensive linemen off guard with his explosiveness so often. That was evident at the combine as well, as his 10 yard split, broad jump, and vertical jump all ranked in the 90th percentile of interior defensive linemen there.

Footwork: He is very fluid in his movements, and he keeps his feet active. Texas employed a high level of stunts and twists the last two years, and Ojomo looked right at home in maneuvering his way around to execute those concepts.

Hand Technique: Ojomo has excellent length, with his arms measuring at 34.5 inches long, and he uses that to his advantage. He gets full extension and lands his punch well. Once he gets his hands on a lineman, he rarely lets them go, using his length and upper body strength to knock them out of the play.

Pass Rush Moves: He has some obvious favorites when rushing the passer, but Ojomo isn’t overly refined with his pass rush moves just yet. Much of the defensive scheme was predicated on using stunts and twists, so he was able to win with sheer athleticism a lot. In fact, he posted the fifth best pass rush win rate of any interior defender in this draft. He has room to grow, too, by expanding his repertoire of pass rush moves at the next level.

Lateral Agility: As you may have guessed by now, Ojomo has really good lateral agility. He wouldn’t have been able to produce in this scheme otherwise. At the Texas pro day, Ojomo posted 70th percentile or higher numbers in both agility drills.

Athleticism: He is a great athlete, and he pops on tape because of it quite often. He’s explosive, twitchy, and very sudden in his movements. Ojomo posted the 10th best Relative Athletic Score among interior defenders in this draft class, a testament to his athletic profile.

Run Defense: Ojomo flashed the potential to be an elite run stopper at the next level. He plays with great pad level and physicality in run support, but his usage in this defense limited his exposure as a primary run defender; far too often, his designed stunts took him away from the action. For what it’s worth, Ojomo had the second best run defense grade from Pro Football Focus among his position group. That’s reflected by the tape, although it’s a smaller sample size than his fellow classmates.

Processing: He is a highly intelligent individual, being named to several academic award lists during his time at Texas and publicly stating a desire to become a corporate attorney after his NFL career is over. He might have a lot of time before then, as Ojomo’s processing skills (and the rest of his profile) should translate to a lengthy career.

Intangibles: Ojomo is a rare combination of ability and effort. Usually the high motor guys are compensating for something, but he is a great athlete with technically refined skills who also gives his all on every down. The biggest question is his fit at the next level. Ojomo wasn’t an ideal fit under either scheme he played in at Texas, which kept him from putting up more gaudy stats. That’s preventing him from being a higher-ranked prospect - most mocks have Ojomo as a third or fourth round pick - but in the right scheme he could become a game-wrecker.

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