Thursday, the futures of 31 college football players will be decided as the 2016 NFL draft gets underway.
Among them, potentially, is OSU's Emmanuel Ogbah.
He began the 2015 season projected as high as a "lottery" pick. However the closer we get to draft day the further he falls in projections. Some still have him project going late in the first round, but most seem to have him getting drafted on day two. So why does Ogbah keep dropping?
Up until now, we've all read a lot about what draft experts and analysts have to say about Ogbah. He's been glowingly described as "athletically gifted" and with "off the chart measurables". However, we've been hearing more and more about why Ogbah isn't a first round pick; "too stiff in the hips", "not a dynamic athlete", and of course, "inconsistent effort." No article has been more damning of Ogbah than Stephen White's breakdown.
Ogbah finished the season with 63 tackles, 16.5 Tackles for a loss and 12.5 sacks. Those were all up from the previous year.
Compare those to the three DE's most projections have going first
- Joey Bosa (Ohio St): 51 Tackles. 16 Tackles for a loss. 5 Sacks
- Shaq Lawson (Clemson): 59 Tackles. 24.5 Tackles for a loss. 12.5 Sacks
- DeForest Buckner (Oregon): 83 Tackles. 17 Tackles for a loss. 10.5 Sacks.
He ranks up with the best from last year yet seems to be projected 20 to 30 picks behind them.
Ogbah also had some of the best combine numbers of anyone at his position, including tops at the 40 yard dash, and vertical and broad jumps.
This all comes after being lightly recruited out of high school as only a 3 star recruit. He developed into the monster you saw on the field for the last two years.
So here's my argument: Emmanuel Ogbah should be a first round draft pick. He has the things you can't coach; the athleticism, the strength, and the coachability. His technique isn't perfect especially on run blocking, but again that's something you can coach. He comes across like a good kid with a smart head on his shoulders, who loves to compete.
At least that's what I saw every time I turned on a T.V. to watch OSU football for the last two seasons. He may not have been perfect in every game but the potential was always there, and it continues to be for the future.