The Good: BJ Ojulari is a plus athlete at EDGE who’s long and bendy; he looks like he was born to play at OLB in a 3-4 scheme. Like his older brother, Azeez Ojulari of the Giants, BJ is a crafty and unpredictable pass rusher with good burst and first steps off the snap. Ojulari beats blockers with quick hands, which also keep him afloat in run defense. He’s a smart player with consistently strong effort, and Ojulari has enough versatility to hang and win from the interior on clear passing downs. He can even cover a little bit too.
The Bad: The downside to being a pass rusher who’s more crafty than twitchy is that Ojulari’s pursuits of the QB are too often out of control. With the quality of offensive linemen about to spike as Ojulari enters the NFL, he’ll need to play with his hands and body in better unison as he loses an athletic edge up on his competition. There isn’t much leg driven power to Ojulari’s pass rush either; he’ll probably be advised to gain 5-10 pounds upon entering the league. Ojulari isn’t a terrible run defender, but he’s generally weak stacking up against the run. His pad level is inconsistent and he just isn’t as strong as the typical pro EDGE yet.
The Bottom Line: While BJ isn’t as good of a prospect as Azeez was – who fell to Round 2 of the 2021 Draft with some medical concerns – I like this Ojulari brother too and have some confidence that he won’t flame out in the NFL; he’s talented and dedicated enough to have a career. He’s just really young entering the Draft, both literally as a newly 21 year-old and on the field as a player still in the midst of his development. Ojulari runs hot-and-cold right now with his game performances; he looked dominant against Mississippi State but was a complete non-factor against Alabama. I have a hunch that Ojulari will be a more productive player on his second contract than his rookie contract. But as for now, he’s not a special enough prospect to spend a Round 1 pick and live with the growing pains as he works towards his football ceiling.
Grade: Late Second Round / Early Third Round
Pro Comp: Uchenna Nwosu
- Texas A&M 2021
- Mississippi State 2022
- Tennessee 2022
- Alabama 2022