Every year, there’s an obsession with the NFL Draft over which player will be taken first and it’s often presumed that they can’t fail, but history shows that the early picks don’t always live up to the hype. Nigerian-born David Ojabo was expected to be taken early in the 2022 NFL Draft before tearing his Achilles in the preparation process.
Ojabo ended up landing with the Baltimore Ravens in the second round with the 45th overall pick, and the early NFL Vegas Odds show that he has an outside chance of being named Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The Ravens are famous for their defense and have a long history of developing rookies into some of the best players in the league, so there’s a feeling among many in the NFL that this is the perfect landing spot for him, but also that Baltimore have themselves an absolute steal in finding someone this talented in the second round.
Ojabo’s journey to the NFL is one of the most interesting as he’s gone from Nigeria to Michigan via Scotland, while it’s claimed that he opted to play his College Football for Michigan because the weather reminded him of Scotland where he spent the majority of his childhood years.
At this stage it’s not clear what kind of impact Ojabo will make in year one – he’s coming off an injury that’s going to limit the work he can do in training camps initially, while he’s also joining one of the best teams in the league so he may have a rotational role to begin with. Draft expert Daniel Jeremiah wrote that Ojabo had so much potential to succeed in the league, but he also needs to develop so this year could be all about learning.
In his only full season as a starter in College Football, he registered double-figures for sacks and tackles for loss – a stat that immediately makes him stand out, so he looks like he has the potential to be the next great African-born star in the NFL.
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