The Good: It’s hard to link one adjective to Adetomiwa Adebawore’s performance at the Combine. “Generational” and “legendary” are thrown around for the NFL Draft every year, but Adebawore seriously showed out in an all-time way. If he was taller, then the shape of his MockDraftable graph would be close to a circle. Sometimes the Combine is dangerous because it leads to workout warriors who can’t actually play getting overdrafted, but this is one of the better cases where it shined a light on Adebawore and led to the Draft community revisiting his tape – which is plenty good. You do see the premier athleticism and burst in flashes during games. But aside from that, Adebawore is an extremely reliable run defender who’s good with his hands and can move up and down the defensive line.
The Bad: I intentionally list Adebawore as an EDGE here even though he worked out as a DT, because that’s where I like him more. But he’ll get a heavy dose of snaps from the interior, at least early in his career, and I worry about him getting swallowed up there in pass rush situations. He can drive back OGs when he gets under their pads, but otherwise he doesn’t beat linemen off the snap like Aaron Donald or even Calijah Kancey. At EDGE, Adebawore will have subpar twitch for that position; he’s really cut out as a pure power DE. You see him get jumpy on tape when he tries to get around OTs with anything besides speed and power.
The Bottom Line: Everything that I just wrote screams “tweener” for Adebawore – and that’s somewhat true – but I actually think he’s more so just capable at both positions. Personally, I prefer Adebawore at EDGE – especially if he lands on a team with a base 4-3 defense. I refuse to participate in any discourse over Adebawore being a “raw” prospect. He’s plenty experienced and more than held his own at the Senior Bowl in a neutral setting. He just became a diamond in the rough as a guy without big stats on a terrible Northwestern team. Adebawore does have untapped upside though if he sticks at then fully grasps one spot on the defensive line. And even if his NFL team keeps shifting him around like Northwestern did, he’ll be a full snap share player with high energy, good run defense, and occasional pass rush disruption.
Grade: Late First Round / Early Second Round
Pro Comp: Everson Griffen
- Duke 2021
- Nebraska 2022
- Ohio State 2022
- Senior Bowl