NFL Draft Pick No. 61: San Francisco 49ers – David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
David Ojabo was a sure first-round pick until his tore his Achilles in his pro day at Michigan, in one of the more unfortunate events leading up until the draft. Where Ojabo gets drafted is a tough call, given his exceptional ability. The 49ers signed Kerry Hyder but need a proper replacement across from Nick Bosa.
The injury could become the 49ers’ gain. Ojabo can heal up while the 49ers go with Bosa and Hyder for the season before taking over in 2023. While there’s some trepidation among fans about the Niners taking a prospect who’s injured, the risk is worth the reward.
Ojabo had 11 sacks and 12 tackles for loss this season for Michigan. Ojabo is a raw prospect as a man who was born in Nigeria, raised in Scotland and didn’t play football until his junior year of high school, but that makes his quick rise all the more intriguing.
You can’t say enough about Ojabo’s potential. As an athlete, he’s amazing with freakish speed and athleticism that doesn’t look like it belongs on a 6-foot-4, 255-pound man. He’s a man who plays with violence and a stunning array of pass-rushing moves for someone so raw.
Being raw does come with some things to iron out. He isn’t as good a run defender as he is a pass-rusher, which will need to be developed, and he can occasionally be inconsistent for long patches of time. But this is understandable given his late start to the game and his potential more than makes up for this.
The 49ers rely on a strong defensive line to free up the remaining seven defenders for coverage, and this would be an exceptional selection.