Former Georgia outside linebacker, Azeez Ojulari has been heavily involved in the first-round discussion of the 2021 NFL Draft for a while.
Following his 3.0 sack performance against Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl, Ojulari declared for the NFL Draft after finishing the season with a career-high 9.5 sacks in 2021 as a redshirt sophomore.
Since early January when he officially placed his name in this year's draft, Ojulari has seen his overall NFL Draft projection sky rocket from mid- to early second-round projections, to now being in the discussion to be the first edge rusher off the board.
Former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum has released his latest mock draft and he has Ojulari as the first edge defender off the board and for a very unique reason.
With the No. 11 overall pick to the New York Giants, Tannenbaum believes they should be looking at Ojulari.
"Head coach Joe Judge seeks versatile guys off the edge, which is why I'm going with Ojulari here. He's tough and can get home on the QB, but he's also an outside linebacker who can drop into coverage. Kwity Paye (Michigan), for example, doesn't do that." - Tannenbaum on Ojulari to the Giants
Coaches from opposing programs and fans alike have driven this narrative for a while that Georgia's defensive scheme doesn't produce top-end NFL draft picks.
Yet, here we have a former NFL general manager favoring Ojulari over another elite pass rusher because of the versatility he provides. Versatility that was only on display because of the scheme in which head coach Kirby Smart and defensive coordinator Dan Lanning run.
Ojulari didn't need 12.5 sacks in a season to become a first-round talent. What he did do, however, is capitalize on the opportunities he was provided. It doesn't take long to turn the tape on of Ojulari and see an edge defender that can get after the quarterback.
In addition, what Georgia allowed him to do by dropping into coverage could make him that much more attractive to NFL teams.
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