The team at Vikings Territory has been busy working to get to know each of our newest Vikings draft selections and this week we will give you a chance to learn everything we know about these players through our reintroduction of the “Welcome to the Big Show” series.
Next Up: DE Ifeadi Odenigbo
“Ifeadikachakwu Anthony Odenigbo”, as his birth certificate states, is an Ohio native and former four-star recruit from Centerville High School. Despite not playing football until his sophomore year of high school, the instantaneously academically-excellent Odenigbo weighed scholarship offers from Notre Dame, Stanford, Boston College, California, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, UCLA and West Virginia before settling on Northwestern.
His parents — Linda and Thomas Odenigbo — are Nigerian immigrants, making Odenigbo and his two siblings the first members of his family born in the United States. He also completed an Economics degree during his four-year career at Northwestern.
College Attended: Northwestern
Collegiate Seasons: 4
Games Played: 37
Combined Tackles: 61
Tackles for Loss: 26.5
Pass Defenses: 1
Forced Fumbles: 5
Recovered Fumbles: 2
Weight: 258 pounds
Arm Length: 32 5/8″
Hand Size: 10 1/2″
40-Yard Dash: 4.72 seconds
Bench Press: 25 reps
Vertical Jump: 31 1/2″
Broad Jump: 128″
3-Cone Drill: 7.26 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.40 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: N/A
- Big, strong physical frame
- Explosive and athletic
- Creative pass-rusher with an improving spin move
- Power and finesse combination
- Strength and agility to set the edge in run defense
- Plays to whistle with high motor, high intensity style
- Very efficient quarterback pressure rate
- Notably intelligent
- Pass-rushing specialist with limited snaps in run-first situations
- Pass-rushing technique needs refinement
- Extremely raw in run defense
- Washed out of plays too frequently for his size
- Substandard play recognition and general awareness
- Multiyear project with few tools currently developed to NFL standard
TALE OF THE TAPE
Ifeadi Odenigbo is an extremely raw pass-rushing specialist with intriguing upside. He was used primarily in no-doubt passing situations during his collegiate career, not grabbing hold of a true starting gig until his senior campaign. Odenigbo’s experience as a pass-rusher shows on film, too, as he consistently found success on both his “power” and “finesse” pressures.
Odenigbo became more creative during his final season with the Wildcats — epitomized by his success taking down CJ Beathard against Iowa — when he showcased all of his best pass-rushing traits and a developing spin move.
His run defense is a different story, however, as Odenigbo’s ability to set the edge and close quickly on between-the-tackle rushers needs a lot of work. Simply put, the Northwestern product is a textbook seventh-round pick with one potentially special trait, athletic upside, a hulking physical frame to fill out, a flawless work ethic and the intelligence to learn quickly.
Lance Zierlein – NFL.com: “He’s not a skilled pass rusher, but his power and developing spin move are traits worth working with. Odenigbo produced a quarterback pressure rate higher than Sam Hubbard, Taco Charlton and Garrett Sickels. Odenigbo will need to prove he can handle some run-stopping duties or sticking around for very long could be tough since he’s not a classic edge-bending specialist.”
Matt Miller – Bleacher Report: “A one-year starter at Northwestern, Ifeadi Odenigbo posted 12 TFLs and 10 sacks in his full season of playing time. If you want first-step quickness and burst, Odenigbo has both. He has a compact, athletic frame with a powerful core and lower body that allows him to explode out of the blocks. Odenigbo doesn’t have great length, but he uses what he has well with timing and a strong push to keep blockers off his body. He can sit down and anchor as a defensive end or outside linebacker. His pass-rush tools are well-developed, and he’ll use a long-arm, spin move and inside dip to beat blockers.
Odenigbo tore his labrum as a true freshman and played with a sprained ankle in 2015. His hips aren’t what you want from a prototypically sized edge. He’s too tall in his movements and doesn’t have the knee bend or hip sink to effectively turn the corner against NFL blockers. His instincts weren’t great on film, which can be expected from a one-year starter but not so much from a player who was in college for five seasons. It’s a concern that a very highly recruited prep player only saw one season of starting.”
Mel Kiper Jr. – ESPN Insider: “Ifeadi Odenigbo is redshirt senior who started just five of the 50 games he played at Northwestern finishing with 26.5 tackles-for-loss, 23.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. His arm length (32 5/8′) and strength at the point raise concerns about his ability to develop into an every-down defensive end while his fluidity and instinct raise concerns about his ability to transition to 34OLB. He’s an intriguing Day 3 prospect because he’s flashed the ability to get after the quarterback and he hasn’t reached his upside as a pass rusher yet.”
Rob Schaefer – Inside NU (SB Nation): “Odenigbo’s ideal situation is a team that runs base 4-3 and can use him as a head-down pass rusher in third-down scenarios and, ideally, slowly develop him into a more complete player. It remains to be seen whether his physical and technical limitations will prevent him from ever establishing himself as an every-down end (or sticking around long enough to do so), but his pass-rushing skill will absolutely give him the opportunity to make a name for himself. It’s encouraging that his statistics improved every year at Northwestern and he certainly plays with an intensity and physicality that will earn him respect in NFL training camps and practices, even if he does wind up an undrafted free agent.”
SELECTION & REACTION
I bleed that purple!!!! pic.twitter.com/2XuhlQbk7W
— Ifeadi Odenigbo (@IfeadiOdenigbo) April 29, 2017
Rick Spielman Response: “He has some pass rush ability. I know when Andre Patterson came in and we talked about him during meetings … he has extremely long arms and a real knack for rushing the passer. We think we have a really good young stable of pass rushers.”
The initial expert analysis of Minnesota’s selection of Odenigbo was generally “ho-hum” but also somewhat optimistic:
Mark Dulgerian – NFL.com: “Ifeadi Odenigbo is a depth addition to a defensive line unit with plenty of questions relating the future of its current members.”
Josh Liskiewitz – Pro Football Focus: “Ifeadi Odenigbo was a strong pass-rusher in 2016 for Northwestern. His 84.1 pass-rush grade ranked fifth among Big Ten edge defenders, and his overall pass-rushing productivity mark ranked fourth in the conference. He had possibly the best stretch of back-to-back games in the country as far as edge production in 2016, as he racked up a total of six sacks and 10 hurries against Iowa and Michigan State in Week 5 and 7.”
Kevin Weidl – ESPN: “Ifeadi Odenigbo lacks ideal length and needs to get stronger at the point of attack to become an every-down player. He can be a help in pass-rushing situations; he flashes good quickness off the edge.”
Spencer Hall – CBS: “A very raw pass rushing prospect who is still new to the game. A developmental edge player for the Vikings.”
Walter Cherepinsky – Walter Football: “Ifeadi Odenigbo displayed terrific athleticism in pre-draft workouts, and he also happened to be productive at Northwestern. It wouldn’t surprise me if he became a solid contributor at some point for the Vikings.”
THE VIKINGS FIT
Ifeadi Odenigbo is a developmental project — make no mistake about it — but he has an impressive pass-rushing skill set worth developing. His immediate impact on the Vikings will likely come on the scout team as a practice squad player, but there is reason to be optimistic about his chances of developing into a viable situational pass-rusher.
At his best, Odenigbo’s quarterback pressure efficiency both with power techniques and finesse-based creativity routines flash Everson Griffen-level upside. On the other hand, though, Odenigbo’s floor — predicated mostly on extremely raw skills in run defense — could find him floating off on Mike Zimmer’s island of undeveloped quarterback-attacking toys with Stephen Weatherly and Edmond Robinson.
WELCOME TO THE BIG SHOW
DT Jaleel Johnson, Iowa
LB Ben Gedeon, Michigan
WR Stacy Coley, Miami