A gifted athlete still new to the sport, Michigan’s David Ojabo broke out during the 2021 season. Playing on the same defensive front as potential No. 1 overall pick Aiden Hutchinson, Ojabo delivered a career-best 11 sacks and 12 tackles for loss, helping the Wolverines clinch their first trip to the College Football Playoff. Ojabo declared early for the 2022 NFL Draft and appeared likely to go in the first round.
While Ojabo finished his final collegiate season healthy, he ruptured an Achilles tendon during Michigan’s pro day. The injury clouds his immediate future, with some teams knocking him down their draft boards while others will continue to value the long-term upside of the star pass rusher.
Timetable for return
Given the timing and nature of the injury, Ojabo could realistically miss the entire 2022 season. Even if he manages to gain medical clearance near the end of the year, the lack of on-field work will likely limit his rookie contributions considerably.
Will it impact draft slot?
Ojabo’s Achilles tear might not take him out of the first round altogether. However, he no longer appears in consideration for a top-10 pick, the range in which he seemed likely to go before the injury. Still, Ojabo shouldn’t last too long on Day 2 should he remain available. Pass rushers with his athletic tools almost never do, even those with health concerns.