The Atlanta Falcons needed a pass rusher in this draft to add to the rotation and Adetokunbo Ogundeji was their attempt at filling this role. Atlanta will utilize Ogundeji in both an outside linebacker and defensive end role playing in Dean Pees’ multiple defensive scheme.
Athletic Testing and Comparison
Stats and Awards
2020: 12 Games Played, 23 Tackles, 7.0 Tackles for Loss, 7.0 Sacks, 7 QB Hurries, 1 Fumble Forced, All-ACC Honorable Mention
2019: 13 Games Played, 34 Tackles, 7.0 Tackles for Loss, 4.5 Sacks, 5 QB Hurries, 3 Fumbles Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 1 Defensive Touchdown
2018: 13 Games Played, 24 Tackles, 3.0 Tackles for Loss, 1.5 Sacks, 2 QB Hurries, 2 Fumbles Forced, 1 Pass Deflection
2017: 5 Games Played
Highlights vs. Boston College
How does Ogundeji fit on the field?
Adetokunbo Ogundeji is one of the better edge defenders in the college ranks. He should fit right into the Falcons’ rotation with Dante Fowler, Barkevious Mingo, Jacob Tuioti-Mariner and Steven Means. He’ll be able to help the Falcons as a linebacker for their three man fronts or as a defensive end in their four man fronts and gives them more multiplicity.
As a run stuffer, Ogundeji can stuff the run effectively. He sets the edge efficiently as a linebacker or with his hand in the dirt. He rarely gets fooled when there’s a play-action towards his side, and when the play goes the other direction, he handles the back-end of the play well and doesn’t get sucked into the play-flow like other linebackers and ends would.
As a pass rusher, Ogundeji is one of the more polished players in the class. He needs to improve his hand usage and technique, but he can burst off the ball and understands how to time the snap properly to get to the quarterback. Ogundeji will force teams to focus on him and has the potential to be a great pass rusher in the NFL if he puts it all together.
How does Ogundeji fit off the field?
Ogundeji was a captain for the 2020 Fighting Irish squad and was a vocal leader. The Falcons have a leadership void on that side of the ball and they have addressed it in this draft by adding captains like Ogundeji. He’s a great teammate as proven by being voted captain on one of the most prestigious college football programs in the country.
Why Ogundeji over Shaka Toney or Quincy Roche?
The Falcons could have gone with either one of those guys and filled their need for a pass rusher. However, they decided to go with Ogundeji for his length and overall athletic profile making more sense for a Dean Pees’ defense than the other two. Ogundeji also plays the run better and since he could be a starter potentially, this aspect of his game is just as important.
NFL Stylistic Comparison/Best Case Scenario: Pernell McPhee
Pernell McPhee was never one of the biggest sack producers in the NFL, but he was always a good pressure creator capable of stuffing the run. Atlanta would love it if Ogundeji could be the same kind of player — someone who maxes out around seven sacks in a season, but is highly productive because he understands and fits the scheme so well. McPhee also played for Pees.