49ers NFL Draft 2022: Why David Ojabo is best-case scenario at No. 61

David Ojabo #55 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
David Ojabo #55 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The 49ers don’t pick until No. 61 in an NFL Draft considered weaker than average. This is a good time for the team to take a home-run swing on a talented prospect who may be available.

The San Francisco 49ers don’t pick until No. 61 in this NFL Draft, pending any sort of trade by the team that likely would involve wide receiver Deebo Samuel or quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, it’s going to be boring for the team until then.

This is not an exceptionally deep draft, so the question is what will the team do at this juncture, should they stay put. They could go for a safety or an offensive lineman which are the two most immediate needs at the time of writing, but perhaps the time is ripe for a home run swing.

EDGE Nick Bosa is of course an amazing talent who soon will be reaping the benefits of a suitably large contract the 49ers no doubt are preparing to shove under his nose, but the question is what the Niners will do across from him.

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Dee Ford is with the team in name only and indeed the team is already preparing for life without him. Arden Key did an acceptable job as a stopgap with 6.5 sacks last season but defected to the Jacksonville Jaguars, so the Niners will welcome back Kerry Hyder to be the premier stopgap.

Hyder fizzled out with the Seattle Seahawks in 2021, but whether or not he’s slowing down or the Seahawks didn’t have the right circumstances for him to flourish remains to be seen.

The important thing is he’s signed for a season, keep note of that because this is important.

Michigan EDGE David Ojabo was a sure first-round prospect heading into this draft until he tore his Achilles at the Michigan pro day. He burst onto the scene with an 11-sack season for the Wolverines and while he admittedly is a raw prospect, this is forgivable given Ojabo was born in Nigeria, raised in Scotland and didn’t play football until his junior year of high school.

Ojabo jumps out at you on his game film with his speed, athleticism and his strength. In terms of physical prowess, he has every tool in the box. While he isn’t the best run defender in the world and his raw nature means he can sometimes go missing for stretches of games if a good offensive lineman shuts him out, there is a lot to work here for a team drafting him.

The 49ers need a long term answer and they can afford to let Ojabo heal while Hyder is the stopgap. Fans will no doubt roll their eyes at the prospect of rehabilitating an injury for an early draft pick, but sometimes you just have to go for the home-run swing.

Ojabo’s draft stock is in a state of flux, as mentioned before this isn’t a strong draft and someone might even gamble on him well before the Niners are on the clock at No. 61.

But if he is there, it’s just too good a prospect to pass up.

A Bosa-Ojabo tandem would terrorize teams around the league and provide the 49ers with a potent duo that could help net the team it’s overdue sixth Lombardi Trophy.

Next. 49ers last-guess 7-round mock before 2022 NFL Draft kicks off. dark