Through my compulsive scouring/scouting of prospect information ahead of the 2016 NFL draft, I find I often return to a couple of the profile pages (NFL.com and CBS Sports NFL Draft Scout) for Oklahoma State star defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah.
As a two year starter and 2015 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year (2nd in tackles for loss and 1st in sacks), Ogbah’s college stats are pretty sweet, and I won’t even (yet) get into his scrumptious combine performance.
Though, much to my surprise (and chagrin), Ogbah is often mocked to the bottom third - if at all - of the first round of the draft.
3 out of 4 NFL Insiders (Jeremiah, Davis, Zierlein) and 2 out of 5 of the CBS Sports analysts (Brugler and Prisco) recently didn’t have him going in the first round at all. NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks has Ogbah going #20 to the New York Jets, CBS.com’s Rob Rang and Will Brinson both have him going #31 to the Carolina Panthers.
Incidentally, 9 out of 10 readers don't approve of 10/10 mocks - 70% of the time.
Jared Dubin, CBS.com NFL Writer, has Ogbah going 16th to the Detroit Lions. I like this pick because Ogbah, in my view, is very much the same player as is his to-be bookend in such a scenario, Ziggy Ansah.
In fact, in writing this piece I had set out to demonstrate the commonalities between these two guys and was pleasantly surprised to read Dubin’s blurb on Ogbah:
Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State: We had Shaq Lawson in this spot last week. Lawson is the better player right now, but he may not have the physical tools Ogbah has. The last time the Lions reached for a freakish defensive end that wasn't yet polished, they wound up with Ziggy Ansah.
Here’s a little comparison table I threw together. The similarities of Emmanuel Ogbah to Ezekiel Ansah are stark like Eddard (or Tony, if you prefer).
* Average included in parentheses over number of seasons as a starting player.
Ansah was chosen by the Lions 5th overall out of Brigham Young in 2013 (at the age of 24). At the time he was considered raw and somewhat unproven, with one season to his name as a starter, but relative to his tremendous upside as a physical specimen.
Three years in the league, Ansah has racked up 30 sacks (14.5 in 2015), 95 tackles, and 9 forced fumbles. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl in 2015.
So, what’s the rub, Doc? How does this benefit my Saints?
Trade down and get him? Or even take him at #12? Depending on how the first 11 picks go, I can see a scenario where the Saints would take him and I’d go YEA! Stick him at DE opposite Cam Jordan and shift Bobby Richardson inside (where he belongs) along with Fairley or whomever else/if the Saints draft at DT.
I recommend a gander of his college highlights (Harris Highlights). My favorite part is around 1:10 when he spanks the right tackle off the edge for a sack-fumble.
While these two guys may also have disyllabic surnames starting with a vowel and ending with –ah, and while they each hail from West Africa the similarities between Ansah and Ogbah, at least at present, are mere novelties. Will Ogbah amount to (or surpass) the play of Ansah thus far? I think so.
What do you think?