The Indianapolis Colts are just days away from potentially making the No. 21 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, a pick they could use to add a new offensive tackle, wide receiver, or pass rusher in the hope of potentially taking the division title away from the Tennessee Titans.
One potential future Colt is Georgia pass rusher Azeez Ojulari.
While Michigan’s Kwity Paye is starting to separate and become known as the top edge rusher in this class, Ojulari is competing with a pair of former Miami Hurricanes in Gregory Rousseau and Jaelan Phillips to earn a first-round selection.
After his 8.5 sack season in Athens, it’ll be hard to turn down someone with his potential.
The Colts need to be wary of whomever they pick, as they could make the fatal flaw of allowing their rival in Tennessee to nab a potential Pro Bowler right after them. The Colts are already competing with the Titans for Oklahoma State tackle Teven Jenkins, and Ojulari is another prospect both teams could draft.
The Colts’ pass rush wasn’t great last year, and they haven’t made a ton of improvements on that front, but Tennesse’s last year was awful. Adding Ojulari could help the Titans solve their biggest issue, all the while making the Colts rue the day they passed on him.
Azeez Ojulari could burn the Colts after joining the Titans
The Titans have something potentially very effective in Harold Landry, but that didn’t stop a non-existent pass-rush and poor pass defense from getting shredded regularly last year. With Jadeveon Clowney gone, Tennessee dropped a huge amount of money on former Pittsburgh Steelers star Bud Dupree in order to fix that.
Ojulari has all the potential in the world, but he is a bit skinny to play with his hand in the dirt. The former Dawg could serve in a rotational role as a rookie before starting next to Dupree should they refuse to pay up for Landry, bulk up, and then set about dominating the AFC South.
Indianapolis could take a new left tackle, but this draft class is unusually deep with regard to the tackle position, while the number of edge rushers that have a comparable ceiling when compared to Ojulari is much smaller.
If Tackle X ends up taking a long time to adjust to the pro game, two speedy edge-benders like Dupree and Ojulari could have their way with him. That could be enough to secure a division title.
The Colts would be wise to take Ojulari, as it would both fill a need and give the Colts a potential Pro Bowler for the next 10 years. As a side effect of that trade, the Titans will have to look elsewhere for solutions on how to best fix their awful defense.