With the 2016 NFL Draft drawing closer every day, we’re continuing to focus on the top available college prospects. Emmanuel Ogbah built on strong college production with a dynamite NFL Scouting Combine performance, and he fills a position of need for the New Orleans Saints. Should they bring him to the Crescent City?
- Height: 6-foot-4
- Weight: 273 pounds
- Arm length: 35 1/2 inches
- Hands: 10 inches
Emmanuel Ogbah terrorized quarterbacks throughout the country the last few years. The 22-year old defensive end (he’ll be 23 in November) finished his Oklahoma State career with 26.5 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss, doing most of his damage the last two years with steadily-increasing production. Ogbah hung his hat on a 13-sack season in 2015, ranking second nationally in the FBS.
Ogbah has terrific size made more enticing with freakishly long arms. He adds nearly a full yard to his frame with his arms, which he can use to drag down quarterbacks and ball-carriers in the backfield. He did this often at Oklahoma State because he lacks the flexibility to bend at the ankle, turn the corner, and hit the quarterback.
More from Who Dat Dish
- Are the Saints playoff contenders or pretenders in 2022?
- 3 takeaways from Saints unofficial depth chart ahead of preseason opener
- Saints 2022 Training Camp: Top 5 takeaways from Day 13
- 3 things to know about new Saints QB K.J. Costello
- Kirk Merritt could be a difficult player for the Saints to cut
The bad news is that lack of flexibility will haunt Ogbah early and often. The world-class athletes NFL teams employ at offensive tackle like Terron Armstead, Lane Johnson, and Tyron Smith can hold the line without fear of him shifting balance and spinning around their outside shoulder.
So he’ll have to win in other ways. Ogbah did just that for several years in college, using his raw power to rush through blockers and a couple of clever hand moves to disengage and navigate traffic. He’s a talented sack artist who showed off untapped athletic potential at the NFL Scouting Combine. The right coaching staff could add him to their roster comfortable in his high “floor” and ready to help him develop and reach his “ceiling”.
How he fits the New Orleans Saints:
The Saints had one of the least-productive pass rushes in football at any level last year, with only DE Cameron Jordan brushing double-digit sacks. Part-time players Hau’oli Kikaha (four) and Kasim Edebali (five) placed behind him. The need for a complementary end opposite Jordan is clear, and Ogbah could be the guy to fill that role.
Placing another end across from Jordan would force offenses to plan for more than one major pass rushing threat off the edge. It would also help out the platoon of undersized rushers the Saints deploy on the edge (Kikaha, Edebali, and other youngsters like Davis Tull [he of 37 career collegiate sacks] and Obum Gwacham [three sacks in 2015])). They would be freed up to face tight ends and running backs in the backfield rather than the league’s premier talent at offensive tackle.
Ogbah also has value in his sheer size. He can start from day one without having to add much weight or strength. He rushed passers from both sides of the line at Oklahoma State, so he could help spell Jordan at left defensive end. That would be a welcome respite for Jordan, who played 982 snaps in 2015 and 999 in 2014. That’s far too many for one player to shoulder at such a physical position. Allowing Jordan to share time at end would keep him fresh and effective late in games.
Did you like this article? Follow me on Twitter for more exclusive content in my coverage of the New Orleans Saints and NFL Draft.