Despite being a second-round pick, expectations are high for NY Giants rookie edge rusher Azeez Ojulari
Azeez Ojulari was a player some mocked to the NY Giants in the first round at #11 overall. The fact that a first-round talent fell to the Giants in the second round is just one reason Ojulari was such an exciting draft pick.
Another reason NY Giants fans were thrilled with the Ojulari selection at #50 overall is the fact that the speedy edge-rusher plays a position of need.
Lorenzo Carter, regarded as the defense’s best outside linebacker, is coming off of a torn Achilles. The edge player with the most sacks for the defense last season (4), Kyler Fackrell, is now an LA Charger.
Ojulari will help shore up the NY Giants’ biggest weakness on defense, Not only that, but the Georgia will lead New York’s defense in sacks this season.
Here’s a look at five reasons why Azeez Ojulari will lead the NY Giants in sacks in 2021:
Reason #1: Azeez Ojulari brings speed and athleticism to the edge.
The NY Giants’ best two pass rushers last season were interior defensive linemen. Leonard Williams (11.5 sacks in 2020) and Dexter Lawrence (4 sacks in 2020) do an excellent job of pushing the pocket. When QBs are unable to step up with the hog mollies in their face, Ojulari will be able to meet the QB that much quicker.
Ojulari brings a speed element to the outside linebacker corps. His 4.63 40-yard dash and 1.6-second 10-yard split are both in the 77th percentile. At 6’2″, 245 pounds, Ojulari also possesses ideal arm length (95th percentile). His combination of length and athleticism allow him to make tackles that other NY Giants OLBs can’t make.
Last season, Fackrell had major issues tackling in space, as evidenced by his 28.9 PFF tackling grade. Ojulari is a better athlete than Fackrell, which means that he will be better in coverage and better able to handle shifty ball carriers in space.
Best of all, he will have more success bringing quarterbacks to the ground, which should result in more wins for the NY Giants.