2016 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Oklahoma State OLB Emmanuel Ogbah

As you should know by now, our attention has now shifted to the 2016 NFL Draft as it relates to the prospects. From now until the draft takes place, we hope to profile as many draft prospects as we possibly can for you. Most of these player profiles will be centered around prospects the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have interest in.

Breakdown of OLB Emmanuel Ogbah today.

#38, Emmanuel Ogbah, EDGE — Oklahoma State, 6’4”, 274 Lbs, Redshirt Junior

The Good

-Reads and reacts quickly to what is in front of him
-Impressive dip-and-rip move from either side to bend the edge
-Versatile pass rusher who can line up all over the field
-Quick closing speed due to long strides
-Thick, muscular frame
-Ideal height and arm length (35 1/2 inches) for position
-Fast, powerful hands (10-inch hands) at point of attack
-Above-average play strength

The Bad

-Limited get-off at the snap, stands up quickly instead of getting up the field quickly
-Needs major work on pass rushing moves
-Slow to set up moves and rarely has a counter if first move fails
-Struggles at setting the edge against the run, doesn’t get off of blocks quickly
-Slow to execute looping stunts
-Effort/motor is an issue
-Show stiffness in his hips and isn’t a dynamic athlete off the edge
-Pad level is a work in progress


-Native of Nigeria who moved to Houston at the age of 9
-26.5 career sacks in three seasons at Oklahoma State
-Named Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year in ‘14
-Named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in ‘15
-Named All-American by USA Today, Walter Camp Foundation
-Ted Hendricks Award Finalist

Film Breakdown

On paper, Emmanuel Ogbah looks like one of the most dominant pass rushers in the 2016 draft class, thanks to an outstanding 26.5 sacks during his three years at Oklahoma State.

But once you put on the tape, you’ll leave disappointed in the 6’4”, 273-pound redshirt junior that hails from Houston, by way of Nigeria.

Despite having the ideal size and arm length (35 1Ž2-inch arms), Ogbah rarely uses his length and reach to his advantage while also struggling mightily with his pad level, which gives him issues in the running game, as well as rushing the passer.

Combined with pad level issues and consistency with using his hands and extending opponents away from his body, Ogbah also has a serious issue with his motor, which revs high on obvious passing downs, but appears nearly out of gas on any other play.

Take a look at this play here against Oklahoma this past season.

By no means is Baker Mayfield a burner out of the backfield. Knowing that, Ogbah doesn’t even give full effort in pursuit of the bootleg, simply jogging along, allowing Mayfield to get rid of the football without pressure.

During this entire play Ogbah wasn’t more than seven yards away from Mayfield, and with his long strides and long reach, there’s no reason why Ogbah couldn’t have applied serious pressure on this play.

Outside of the inconsistent motor, Ogbah is really poor against the run, often getting washed down the line or struggling to get off blocks as the runner bursts past him.

On this play, Ogbah is oblivious as to what is happening around him.

By getting washed down the line, Ogbah leaves a huge hole in his place. But on top of that, Ogbah turns his back to the line of scrimmage trying to get off the block, allowing the running back to scoot right by before he even realizes what is happening.

This wasn’t the only time this happened either.

With an inconsistent motor, poor technique against the run and the frustrating lack of consistency to use his physical gifts to his advantage, it’s tough to see a lot to like about Ogbah.

But then he goes and does things like this on a consistent basis, leaving people drooling over his physical tools and the high ceiling that he has as a pass rusher.

As a pass rusher, Ogbah loves to use this dip-and-rip move where he swats the offensive lineman’s hands away, allowing him to dip under the block before then ripping his arm upward to raise the lineman’s arms, leaving a nice path for Ogbah to bend around to the quarterback.

Moving all over the line and being able to rush the passer with his hand in the dirt, or as a standing edge rusher, this is Ogbah’s go-to move in big spots.

Although most offensive linemen know that’s his go-to move, Ogbah is so quick to set it up and powerful enough to blow right through the block.

The ability to do this from either side is really intriguing, which could set him up well for next level.

However, when facing top NFL-level left tackles in college (Laremy Tunsil, Spencer Drago, Cody Whitehair,) Ogbah had a rough go of things because he has a limited pass rushing arsenal and doesn’t do much in terms of counters once his first move doesn’t work.

Against Tunsil in this past season’s bowl game, Ogbah allowed Tunsil to get into his pads, thwarting any sort of pass rush. When he was able to get up the field, Tunsil was athletic enough to stay with him, using great hand strength and a solid base to not let Ogbah overpower him.

If he’s going to be a consistent pass rushing threat at the next level he’s going to need to develop some serious counter moves to go up against top tackle talent every single Sunday.

Remember the consistency issues? They pop up as a pass rusher as well, mainly when he’s lazy at the snap, usually resulting in him being the last one off the ball.

Taking on Texas Tech’s Le’Raven Clark here, Ogbah barely even tries, resulting in an easy series of blocks for Clark.

After watching seven games of Ogbah, I can confidently say he projects to be a pass rushing specialist at the next level.

It will take some time for him to get coached up on the nuances of pass rushing while also learning new moves to go with his powerful dip-and-rip, but he’s nowhere near ready to be a starter.

Unless he corrects his consistency issues with his technique and motor, he’ll never be anything more than a guy who sees 20-25 snaps a game and pushes for 5-6 sacks a season in a limited pass rushing role.

But if he takes his craft seriously, adds a few pounds of muscle and plays with urgency on every snap, he could turn into a solid 4-3 end for a contender.

Overall, he’s a project despite large numbers. Just put on the tape and that’s easy to see.

Projection: Early 4th

Games Watched: vs. Florida State (’14), vs. Texas Tech (’14), at Central Michigan (’15), vs. Kansas State (’15), vs. Baylor (’15), vs. Oklahoma (’15), vs. Ole Miss (’15)

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  • Ask Questions Later

    Thanks in part to the lack of edge rushing talent, I would not be surprised to see him get picked within the 1st round. Outside of Bosa and maybe even Floyd, who is reliable? Noah’s issues have been noted, but thanks to recent suspensions by current NFL players with character issues, how much can a franchise trust him? Ogbah may be a project… but anyone in dire need of an edge rusher, like Atlanta, will not hesitate.

    Either way, great analysis Josh. Hope to see the next one soon.

  • falconsaftey43

    Pretty spot on analysis. I also question whether his dip-rip will even translate, as he looks so stiff and really has no bend. Not a fan at all.

  • PittsburghSports

    I didn’t watch his tape until after that impressive combine performance, but I definitely was disappointed. I think you’re spot on about the pass rushing moves and lack of counters. A bit surprised at the 4th rd grade. I was thinking 2-3.

  • Brian Miller

    Maybe that draft round estimation is for the Steelers viewpoint?

  • Ask Questions Later

    Me the same. Heck, considering some teams SERIOUSLY need edge rushing help, so it is still not out of the question that Ogbah goes in the 1st. Should said teams pass on him, no chance he falls out of the 2nd.

  • TroymanianDevil

    Solid analysis. It will be very interesting where he goes. I’ve seen him in the top 20 overall on some boards and as far down as the late2nd/early3rd in others. 4th is the lowest projection I’ve seen thus far. I definitely don’t think he’ll fall to the 4th but you never know.

    However, I’ll offer some perspective on the perceived lack of effort. As someone who lives in Texas and sees Big12 football everyday, I will say that seeing him not go 100% on every play is WAY more a result of the way Big12 offenses, then his specific effort. First, defensive players have about 12-15 sec between plays and they run like 300 plays a game (throw on like 299 of those). Second, Ok St’s offense would go equally as fast so there was often not much rest between those ridiculously fast drives. He’s got ridiculous athleticism and I think on an NFL team, can do some damage going at a much more normal tempo. I’d definitely take him at 58 with our 2nd

  • Vinhuddle

    I’d be happy if he feel to the 4th and was the pick.

  • Nick Sabatella

    Damn, you’re thinking 4th? Would think his 40 time alone would vault him up in some team’s minds

  • Ike Evans

    That first example you used was weak……the qb was pulling up to throw the ball as hes running toward the sideline…if ogbah keeps running he gets called for that if he hits him….i see nfl players do that all the time with the new rules……he ate spencer drango up that whole game but he is inconsistent as hell….he looked good against tunsil in the 2nd half but was dominated in the first….he gave whitehair the blues for half the game as well….idk why ppl rip him for not having moves but loooooove shaq lawson who looks like a friggin bull in a china shop trying to rush the passer and thats it…..i think hes better then lawson…i think hes a michael bennett type…i think if he goes somewhere like atlanta, seattle, oakland, nyg, or jacksonville he will be even better because they will rush him from the inside AND outside. 4th round for him is madness…come on now…

  • Ike Evans

    I was impressed actually……when figure out that hes playing 5 technique in alot of his tape and 2 gapping…alot of things start to make sense

  • Matt Manzo

    Some of those were hard to watch!

  • Josh Carney

    No, that’s from my viewpoint. I think he’s grossly overrated.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Fascinating. Everyone has points that could be valid. Not all will be correct. what to believe. Better go watch it myself.

  • Josh Carney

    That’s a great point re: Big 12 offenses. However, I didn’t see motor issues with Andrew Billings, Charles Tapper or Hassan Ridgeway.

  • Josh Carney

    It’s not about the QB “pulling up.” Watch the tape. Ogbah just jogs. That’s weak, not my example. He didn’t eat up Drango at all, played mostly on the right side of the line. Maddy played against Drango. Didn’t give Whitehair blues, ate up Matt Kleinsorge, who’s not an NFL tackle. I don’t have an opinion on Lawson, simply because I haven’t watched him. I’d be curious to see how much tape you’ve actually watched on Ogbah.

  • Josh Carney

    Probably will, but I don’t care about 40 times for edge rushers, honestly.

  • Josh Carney

    That’s all you can do. If you put in the time to watch tape like I have and then come back with interesting points and have work to back it up, I’ll listen. If not, I don’t want to hear/read people blasting my grades with no valid points.

  • Ike Evans

    I have eyes…i see the tape…its a bad example..i could go to the 22 tape of pittsburgh and show you dupree doing the same thing….especially in the ncaa with the targeting rules alot of these guys have been tenative when thr qb gets out of the pocket…its called context..use a bettet example cuz i actually agree with you that his motor does run cold but there are better examples of that on his tape

    Ive watched alot of tape on him….he did play really well againsy cody for half that game…id question what exactly ur looking at when evaluating a pass rusher…..youre right against baylor though…he was playing on the right side . i was incorrect

  • PittsburghSports

    Yeah I noticed that with a lot of these edge players. Many college teams play the 335 Nickel

  • Josh Carney

    There were plenty of other examples, but I have a limit of seven GIFs per article. That’s the one I felt showed his motor, because other ones were backside pursuits that he just quit on early. Felt that one was the best because he didn’t even try.

    I said similar things on Dupree at Kentucky with his motor and cited similar plays.

  • Josh Carney

    And in terms of a QB getting out of the pocket, they aren’t protected as much because they’re a runner at that point.

  • Ike Evans

    Fair….i said the same about him…i actually preferred shane ray to him b4 the draft but i was in the minority and got killed on here for criticizing him lol

  • Josh Carney

    I had Shane Ray above him as well and received similar criticism. I had a late first grade on Dupree. It worked out. Lol

  • Ike Evans


  • Josh Carney

    If you follow me on twitter (@JCarney_Sports) you can see how I go through film and see what I look for.

  • Ike Evans

    Will do

  • Brian Miller

    Gotcha, thanks!

  • TroymanianDevil

    That’s a fair point. As a Longhorn alum, I’ll agree 100% with the effort of Ridgeway.
    But all 3 of those schools have more depth along the DL than OSU ( who never has much depth there) so I bet they played less snaps. I couldn’t find any stats on that so I can’t back it up other than my memory over the last 4 years watching the Big12
    Also both OU and UT have a little more a run oriented offense than Baylor, TCU, Ok St, and Tx Tech, WVU ( essentially all the other Big12 schools minus they Kansas schools but who cares about them anyways) so Ridgeway and Tapper likely had more time between drives.
    But, again, point well taken, if you saw a noticeable difference reviewing the games, than there probably is something there. I was just suggesting it’s more of a minor thing than a major thing

  • Jeremy McClurg

    Everyone I have seen has had in around the late 1st to early 2nd projection. I agree with you though. I haven’t been too impressed with his tape.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    You have a early round 4th on him…I would take that without a blink of an eye.

  • Burt Reynolds

    It’s clear you know nothing

  • Burt Reynolds

    Motor issues? He wasn’t getting there. So I’m guessing you come from the school of running 50 yards after a rep in a drill. Why? What does unnecessary running show? A correlation can’t be made from running an extra 50 yards and finishing plays

  • Burt Reynolds

    Ask Jarvis Jones what his 40 time was. A 40 time shows burst off the ball and athleticism to maintain that speed.

    If you get off slow on a 40 you can guarantee a slow 40 time