David Ojabo fell out of the first round of the NFL draft … and into the perfect situation.
Trending toward the top 10 picks before he suffered a torn Achilles during Michigan’s Pro Day last month, Ojabo dropped Friday all the way to the Ravens at the No. 45-overall pick in the middle of the second round. It was a twist of fate that will cost him millions on his first contract, but might surround him with enough familiarity to allow him to blossom into a star and make up lost earnings down the road after likely missing his rookie season.
Ojabo is going from one Harbaugh head coach to another and making the same move as his defensive coordinator, Mike Macdonald, who left Jim Harbaugh’s side at Michigan to join John Harbaugh in Baltimore. Under Macdonald in 2021, Ojabo broke out with 11 sacks in his only college season playing more than one game.
“What are the odds that the person who comes in and gives me a chance to play [at Michigan] ultimately is the guy I’m following to the next level as well?” Ojabo told Ravens media. “I just know that it’s all written. It’s meant to be.”
Ojabo came to America at 15 years old from Nigeria by way of Scotland and picked up football as a high school junior, after watching teammate Odafe Oweh find success transitioning from basketball. Oweh, a 2021 first-round pick of the Ravens, again will be rushing quarterbacks opposite Ojabo.
Is there any chance that day will be this season, or will he be sidelined until 2023?
“I’m definitely hopeful,” Ojabo said of returning this season, “but I can’t predict the future, so I’m just [taking it] day by day, do as I’m told. It was just a bump in the road. It was my first-ever injury and just another obstacle I’m going to conquer.”
The Vikings will have no one to blame but themselves if their defensive backs are exhausted for the next decade. For the second time in as many days, the Vikings traded with an NFC North rival, who jumped up the board to draft a receiver.
About 22 hours after the Lions moved up from No. 32 to No. 12 to grab speedster Jameson Williams, the Packers moved up Friday to draft skyscraper Christian Watson of North Dakota State with the 34th-overall pick at the top of the second round.
The Vikings’ needed to improve a pass defense that ranked No. 28 in the NFL (252.9 yards per game) last season — and eventually did by using their first Day 2 pick (No. 42) on cornerback Andrew Booth of Clemson.
It’s especially interesting that the Vikings would help the Packers make Minnesota-torturer Aaron Rodgers happy. After the Packers traded Davante Adams to the Raiders and lost Marquez Valdes-Scantling to the Chiefs in free agency, the Packers passed on receivers twice in the first round.
The Buccaneers, one of a record 10 teams that did not have a first-round choice, started the second round by drafting defensive tackle Logan Hall, who broke out with 13 tackles for loss after totaling 6.5 in his first three seasons at Houston.
Hall fills the Ndamukong Suh-sized hole on the line. Suh is a free agent.
After no running backs or tight ends were picked in the first round for the first time in the common draft era (dating to 1967), running backs Breece Hall (Jets), Kenneth Walker III (Seahawks) and James Cook (Bills) were taken in the second round. Trey McBride (Cardinals) was the first tight end, at No. 55 overall.
The Patriots’ first-round pick — guard Cole Strange of Chattanooga at No. 29 — was so unexpected that even Rams head coach Sean McVay admitted he was scouting Strange as a possible late third-rounder.
Bill Belichick struck again when the Patriots selected receiver Tyquan Thornton of Baylor, who ran the fastest 40-yard dash time at this year’s NFL Combine (4.28 seconds), over the more established Alec Pierce (Colts) and Skyy Moore (Chiefs).
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