Dallas Cowboys 4th Round, Pick 138
Osa Odighizuwa, DT, UCLA
At some point the Cowboys were going to need an interior defensive lineman. In this draft with such poor quality depth, it didn’t make sense drafting one before Day 3. With their only pick in the fourth round, due to the second round trade, the Cowboys get a prospect that likely works for them moreso than for other teams.
The redshirt-senior interior defensive lineman from UCLA has been an increasingly popular name after a rock-solid Senior Bowl experience. His play strength, motor, and aggression keep him afloat as his 6-foot-1.5, 282-pound frame isn’t necessarily scaring anyone. A size comparison I often use is Atlanta DT Grady Jarrett because he came out of the draft as an underdeveloped smaller defensive tackle and turned into one of the best in the league.
The issue with comparing someone is you expect them to undergo a similar development and that more often than not isn’t the case. The Cowboys drafted Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore in the last two drafts, and while they play different positions, snap count isn’t working in Odighizuwa’s favor in addition to the signings of Brent Urban and Carlos Watkins.
This is also why drafting an interior defensive lineman early in this class likely doesn’t make sense for the team. That player has to clearly be better than either Hill or Gallimore and there are maybe two prospects that fit that description. (Barmore and Onwuzurike for me at least)
As with any IDL prospect, however, we do expect some form of development to take place. Odighizuwa already displays good technique in run support and a good motor, developing a more varied pass rush plan would help him crack the starting lineup in this league.
The redshirt-senior displays good lower body and core strength; these along with his good pad level allow him to leverage gaps as a 3 and 5 technique. On the inside, he can get blown away by double teams because he doesn’t have the upper body strength to control offensive linemen on combo blocks but his relentless motor can help him stay onto blockers just a second longer in order to make a play on ball carriers.
As a pass rusher, he displays the ability to turn speed to power in a bull rush with his good upfield burst and motor. He displays solid use of hands attacking the breastplate of opposing offensive linemen. As it currently stands, he would be a better option to rush from the inside as he doesn’t display the necessary bend to speed rush from the edge. He doesn’t display much of a counter or power pass rush plan, something he will have to work on at the next level.
The defensive coordinator has helped defensive linemen develop before. Odighizuwa seems like an incredibly coachable defensive player; of all the defensive linemen potentially mocked to the Cowboys, he could make the most sense based on athletic ability and character. He’s the “right kind of guy” if you will.