The Dallas Cowboys have committed to building the defensive side of the ball in the 2021 NFL Draft. Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons was the team’s first-rounder. Kentucky cornerback Kelvin Joseph was selected at 44th overall.
Dallas came back onto the clock at 75th overall in the draft. The Cowboys selected UCLA defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa with its first of three third-round draft picks. Odighizuwa gives the Cowboys another body along the defensive line.
How much are the Cowboys looking to improve their defense? Their first three picks have been on defense with DT Osa Odighizuwa their third-round selection after taking LB Micah Parsons and CB Kelvin Joseph. He might not be a true nose tackle but he can… https://t.co/LyBPywd3pO— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) May 1, 2021
Parsons should help the linebacker corps, while Joseph upgrades the secondary. Odighizuwa provides the Cowboys defensive line with a solid athlete that also possesses an impressive wrestling background.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranked Odighizuwa as the 121st best prospect in the 2021 draft class.
A three-time state champion wrestler in high school, Odighizuwa translates several of those traits (balance, toughness, leverage) to the football field, using his powerful hands and backfield vision to defeat blocks and pursue the football. As a pass rusher, he needs to weaponize his rush moves and trust his technique to unlock his ability. Overall, Odighizuwa needs to improve his efficiency as a pass rusher, but he has disruptive qualities with his length, power and quickness and he shouldn’t be scheme-dependent in the NFL.
Defensive tackle was certainly among the Cowboys’ biggest needs to address during the draft. Osa Odighizuwa has an opportunity to crack an important role in the defensive tackle rotation in Dallas.
The Cowboys will likely look to shore up the secondary and possibly the offensive line with its next two third-round selections.
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