With the 75th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys selected defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa out of UCLA.
There’s been a ton of talk about the interior of the Cowboys defensive line for years now, and just one year after adding Neville Gallimore in the third round, they follow it up in 2021 with UCLA defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa. While Odighizuwa isn’t your massive nose tackle with the ability to help as a run-stopper, he does offer some pass-rush ability from the interior for the Cowboys. Odighizuwa is an undersized, long, and twitched up pass-rusher who found success at UCLA with 11.5 career sacks. Odighizuwa will compete with Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore for playing time at the 3-tech position.
“Tweener” with combination of size and athletic ability that lands him somewhere between base end and three-technique. Odighizuwa has experience playing in just about every alignment imaginable, so he could be ahead of the game from a playbook standpoint. He plays with excellent first-step quickness and good bend that gives him the early advantage as a gap worker and pass rusher. He lacks the mass and anchor strength to handle NFL power as a full-time interior defender. However, his spirited pass rush features quick, efficient hands and non-stop movement, which makes blockers work to keep him out of the gaps. He’s rarely overwhelmed at the point of attack, so more mass and play strength could elevate him beyond a rotational backup with sub-package rush potential.
Osa Odighizuwa is a good athlete with good agility and balance. He plays with good natural leverage and is tough against the run. He plays with good effort and hustle to locate the football. In the passing game, he offers value on the edge or reduced down inside. He penetrates gaps and uses his good natural leverage as a bull rusher. He has some explosion in his hips and has shown flashes of upside as a rusher. He lacks ideal size, which may hinder him as an every-down player in the NFL unless he’s used as a defensive end.
- Round 1, pick 12 – LB Micah Parsons
- Round 2, pick 44 – CB Kelvin Joseph
- Round 3, pick 75 – DT Osa Odighizuwa
- Round 3, pick 84
- Round 3, pick 99
- Round 4, pick 115
- Round 4, pick 138
- Round 5, pick 179
- Round 6, pick 192
- Round 6, pick 227
- Round 7, pick 238
CB – It’s the most popular position for the Cowboys to use their #10 pick on. Chidobe Awuzie departed in free agency from a group that wasn’t very strong to begin with. Trevon Diggs is a piece to build on, but the Cowboys need help.
OL – Injury and age are catching up to various pieces of the Cowboys once-vaunted offensive line. Tyron Smith has an uncertain long-term future, and the middle of the line still has question marks.
DL – The Cowboys could use an infusion of talent at both defensive tackle and defensive end. Expect both positions to be among the picks this weekend. LB – Sean Lee retired, Joe Thomas left in free agency, and the Cowboys are undecided on Leighton Vander Esch’s fifth-year option. This is a need that has been building this offseason.
S – The Cowboys signed a few free agents to go with Donovan Wilson, but they were mostly one-year contracts. The long-term stability of the position is in doubt, and the small sample size of Wilson’s work only adds to that.