The New York Giants put big money into Lenoard Williams at the inside slot on the defensive line. Now, they need to get some help on the edges of their defense. Dayo Odeyingbo is a great option later for them in the draft, with a deep class they could get a starter late. The Giants need upgrades at both outside linebacker positions. With a solid interior run-stopping game with the mix of Leonard Williams, Danny Shelton, and Dexter Lawrence it is time to get a pass rush going.
Dayo Odeyingbo comes out of college at 6-foot-6 and 278 pounds with a reported time of a 4.7 40-yard dash before his injury. Now with the 2021 NFL Draft here, we look at what he brings to the next level.
Giants should find interest in Odeyongbo
He played all four years at Vanderbilt and did his best work in his senior season. In the 2020 season, he notched five and a half sacks with eight tackles for loss. That was his career-high sack total in just eight games, and it was his second-highest tackle total at 32. He showed the ability to get to the quarterback at a level good enough to start in the NFL.
His size and speed are great off the edge and he can play at a nickel defensive end as well.
During his college days, he was mainly used as a 4-3 defensive end, but profiles better as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Though he has enough talent and athletic ability if he needed to play a 3-4 defensive end, it would not be a stretch. His best work, however, would be done on the outside as a linebacker.
Will the Giants need to target him early?
No, they should be able to get him in the middle rounds. With the earliest, I could see him gone being the fourth round. But, they should have no trouble getting him in the fifth round if that’s where they should target him. They have a dual-edge need, so don’t think just because they may take one in the first couple rounds that they won’t head back for the position later in the draft. Their offense is coming together, but the defense has holes everywhere but the down defensive linemen.
There is enough to like to project him as a full-time player
His athletic ability is by far his best trait and what will help him the most as he tries to get to the top-end of the next level. He has great arm length to be able to get lower than the offensive player blocking him. Unfortunately, he was injured this off-season with a torn Achilles and was unable to test his speed at the pro-days. There is also a lot of violence in his hand game as he came off the line of scrimmage, which would only improve as an outside pass-rusher.
His mix of length and size will be hard for him to handle no matter where he lines up.
The versatility he has shown in college will give him an advantage as he goes to the next level. As he played both defensive end and defensive tackle. So he should have no issue adjusting to any position given to him or the assignments handed out. Which is a great upside to a player you plan to use with a pick usually slated for dart throws.
Dayo should not be a dart throw, he just could not fit it all together in college.
With the ever-changing defenses slowly evolving each game from a 3-4 base, to a hybrid nickel he can stay on the field every play. His swim moves and nack to get to the quarterback could make him a really good defensive end in a 3-4 system. However, to pull that off he will need to get better in the run game before that becomes a real possibility. The real question will be what do the New York Giants want to get out of him, or will he become a utility back up with specialty assignments.
Dayo Odeyingbo does not come without downsides
One of the biggest knocks won’t even be about his game, it will be about how he comes back from his Achilles injury. That is not an easy injury to come back from, and players far better than him have never been the same after it. With him needing to have explosive speed and power, an injury like that could spell the end of his career. So we will see how he comes back from it and if he can regain the positive form he had as the season wore on in 2020.
His footwork has been a question, unsure which way to go or how to hit the point of attack.
But, that could be more or less due to the fact he was moved around so much on the defensive line. Being asked to play end then tackle adjust what you are doing and how you get to the point of attack. There was also a lack of overall tackles from the position, you would like to see more explosive stats and attacking the run game. He often seemed lost when he got around the tackle and there was a running play. This could strongly point to him was more of an athlete than he was a defensive end.
We have seen this before in guys like Jadeveon Clowney, where they use their athletic ability and size rather than learning how to properly play the position. With his size, he will need to get his pads lower, especially if he’s coming off the outside linebacker slot. He can not try and go heads up with the offensive tackles, he will be sent packing or just held at the line. So that’s where he will need to get low, but continue to work on his hand movements. Can the Giants land this versatile sleeper?