With the 165th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings have selected Esezi Otomewo, the edge defender from the University of Minnesota.
Otomewo has started for the Gophers over the past few years and appears to be someone that the Vikings could develop into a pass rushing threat if they can get his moves a bit more refined. He didn’t get nearly the press that his teammate Boye Mafe got this past season, but he was still very solid in his own right.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic had Otomewo slotted as the #29 edge defender in this year’s class and said he would likely go in the 6th or 7th round. Here’s what Brugler had to say about Otomewo:
A two-year starter at Minnesota, Otomewo was the field defensive end in defensive coordinator Joe Rossi’s 4-3 base, also lining up over the tackle or over the B gap. Along with his roommate Boye Mafe, he formed one half of the Gophers “Nigerian nightmares” at pass rusher, honoring the original “Nigerian Nightmare” (Christian Okoye). When he uses proper leverage and timing, Otomewo can stack and shed blocks to make tackles in his gap. However, offenses are not afraid to run at him because his hands, leverage points and recognition skills are wild, giving the advantage to blockers. Overall, Otomewo has disjointed rush moves and must maximize his power with more consistent biomechanics, but he is a toolsy five-technique prospect who has yet to reach his football ceiling.
Esezi Otomewo will get some opportunities with the Vikings in what looks to be a defense that will use more 3-4 looks under Ed Donatell. It will be interesting to see how the Vikings use him this season.
Welcome (back) to Minnesota, Esezi Otomewo!