NY Giants land one of NFL Draft’s biggest steals

NY Giants linebacker Azeez Ojulari (Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
NY Giants linebacker Azeez Ojulari (Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) /

The NY Giants’ selection of edge rusher Azeez Ojulari has been almost universally praised in the aftermath of the 2021 NFL Draft

While it certainly takes upwards of three seasons to effectively evaluate an NFL Draft class, the immediate reaction to the NY Giants’ haul has been almost universally positive

From general manager Dave Gettleman’s astute acquisition of an additional first and fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft from a pair of draft weekend trades juxtaposed with the veteran personnel man’s aggressiveness to move up and select Aaron Robinson in Round 3, the NY Giants certainly maximized the value of their draft capital.

Likewise, adding Georgia pass-rusher Azeez Ojulari to upgrade a glaring deficiency on defense, was one of the biggest steals of the NFL Draft, according to Pro Football Focus. 

PFF listed Ojulari as the No. 20 ranked player on the outlet’s NFL Draft big board, and the NY Giants were able to land the Georgia alum with the No. 50 overall choice, after trading back from the No. 42 selection in Round 2.

Ojulari led the SEC with 8.5 sacks, while adding 12.5 tackles for loss last season as one of the Bulldogs’ most dominant defenders. He also garnered 91.7 pass-rush grade from Pro Football Focus last season.

The Giants stopping Ojulari’s slide and likely starting him off the edge of coordinator Patrick Graham’s defense, was hailed by executives around the league as one of the strongest picks made by the organization and one of the draft’s best fits.

“He’s a perfect fit for that defense,” an AFC South scout recently told GMenHQ. “Knows how to rush from the outside, has a variety of moves, knows how to use his hands well to set up his moves.”

NFL Draft grades, analysis for each Giants pick. light. Hot

Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL