Meet David Ojabo: The next UK representative in the NFL

Michigan Wolverines linebacker David Ojabo (55). Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Michigan Wolverines linebacker David Ojabo (55). Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Nigerian-born linebacker grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland, and is looking to be the first-ever first-round pick from the United Kingdom. 

Being from the UK, I wanted my first piece for FanSided to be something close to home, and what better way than with a representative from my backyard looking to be the next NFL superstar.

If someone says the words ‘Michigan pass rusher’ leading to the 2022 NFL Draft, every scout, coach, and fan thinks of Aidan Hutchinson. The edge rusher will likely be a top 5 pick this year. However, the Wolverines’ star had a partner in crime this year, and he’s only been playing football for 4 years.

Any Michigan fans, or anyone who has been able to watch his film this year, would tell you immediately that Ojabo is a very clever linebacker. He doesn’t bring the same type of brute strength you’d get from Aidan Hutchinson, but his ability to use his freakish acceleration and long wingspan to get sacks is something that happened repeatedly this year.

He has a natural ability to be able to swipe either the ball or the QB to prevent the pass. This brought a good balance to the Wolverine’s pass rush and helped them claim the third seed.

This year, Ojabo recorded 11 sacks and 35 total tackles. He even managed to force five fumbles and recover one of those.

Potential NFL Team for David Ojabo

Looking at the current mock draft boards, prior to the end of the NFL combine, I think Ojabo is a lock to go in the first round.

The problem for him is that he is in a draft class full of talented edge rushers. Aidan Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and George Karlaftis (also of European descent) just to name a few.

Right now, I have David Ojabo going to the Philadelphia Eagles. I think they use one of their three first-rounders on the Scotsman, should they keep them.

According to EaglesExtra, Josh Sweat is the only current ‘valued’ edge rusher in the team. I believe that Sweat and Ojabo could recreate the partnership that was formed with Hutchinson in Michigan. Sweat is a more hard-hitting tackler, despite having a similar long reach to Ojabo.

Read. Patrick Jones II: The forgotten about EDGE in the 2021 NFL Draft. light

The NFL is an ever-growing business in the UK, with three games now being hosted at Wembley and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium per season. So, fans of the UK who are reading this, make sure to have your eyes glued on David Ojabo this season, he is representing a nation!