In typical Notre Dame fashion, there are a handful of draft-eligible prospects between the offensive and defensive line units for this year’s NFL Draft.
Adetokunbo Oguneji is arguably the most intriguing of all the Irish prospects this year, as he has seen increased production in sacks and TFL’s every year in South Bend since arriving on campus in 2018. The duo of Ogundeji and Daelin Hayes wreaked havoc for opposing quarterbacks all year long in his first true season as a starter.
Meet The Prospect
Ogundeji spent time as a rotational player for the Irish in his first two seasons, playing behind two current NFL edge rushers in Julian Okwara and Khalid Kareem. When Ogundeji’s number was called, he always answered and continued to see his game improve near the end of the 2019 season. Ogundeji became a permanent starter in the 2020 season and capped that off with six sacks during the shortened campaign.
As evidenced in the clip above, Adetokunbo Ogundeji possesses all the physical traits and abilities to be a force in the run game, whether it’s setting the edge or smacking a running back in the mouth. When it’s time to pin his ears back and get after the quarterback, Ogundeji makes it difficult for quarterbacks to evade his pressure.
Here is one of Ogundeji’s most memorable plays from his time in South Bend. Ogundeji finished his Notre Dame pro day with great numbers to go along with his successful career for the Irish. He clocked a 4.71 40-yard dash, pumped out 22 reps on the bench press, and finished with an impressive 7.19 three-cone drill. Similar to Tommy Tremble on the offensive side of the ball, Ogundeji has untapped potential and raw ability that will get unlocked in the NFL.
Ogundeji, expected to come off the board during Day 3 of the NFL Draft, would fit best in a 4-3 scheme. If Daelin Hayes and Adetokunbo Ogundeji both get drafted this season, that would mark four Notre Dame edge rushers in the last two seasons selected by NFL teams. Julian Okwara went to the Detroit Lions and Khalid Kareem landed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2020. Regardless of where Ogundeji comes off the board in the draft, an NFL team will be getting a player with a high motor, great athletic ability, and most importantly someone who is a playmaker.