Decompose DT/DE Esezi Otomewo

With the 165th pick in 2022 NFL Draft, the Vikings selected Esezi Otomewo (uh-SAY-zee o-TOE-may-woh), 5-tech DT/DE, Minnesota. The Vikings acquired the 165th pick in a trade with the No. 126 Raiders, who also won the No. 169 pick.

Otomewo was 221st on the consensus big board and the DT/DE 5-tech ranked fourth.


Otomewo played defensive end in a 4-3 front at Minnesota, but will likely play 5-tech in the Vikings’ new 3-4 base front, which is more of a defensive tackle, usually just inside the offensive tackle . So for a defensive tackle, Otomewo is very athletic but also very light. He has excellent length but could use to add another 15-20 pounds which would hurt some of his athletic numbers.

Otomewo turned 23 in March.


Otomewo was a 3-star freshman out of high school and picked Minnesota after PJ Fleck left WMU there. He was Honorable Mention All-B1G in 2021.

College Football Reference

PFF did not produce a full analysis of Esezi Otomewo, but they gave the following ratings:

2021: 79.5 overall, 84.3 run defense, 65.4 pass rush, 67.3 true pass rush set, 13.4% pass rush win rate, 7.8% save rate race.

2020: 68.4 overall

2019: 71.2 overall


Dane Brugler, The Athletic:

STRENGTHS: Long and physical with a frame that can continue to be molded…shows a basic understanding of how to play the run…flashes the ability to take advantage of the point, lock and follow the football.. .anchors and maintains his vertical depth when using the right level of sink and pad…plays with initial quickness that surprises blockers…makes himself lean to flee through gaps and into the backfield. .. uses his long strides to chase from behind .. … keeps his foot on the accelerator pedal and remains dogged in pursuit … keeps mental errors to a minimum (zero penalties in 2021) … played on the punt return cover for the past four seasons … added nearly 70 pounds since high school and showed steady progress each season.

WEAKNESSES: Raw as a passing thrower, both in setup and execution…needs to keep adding volume and growing in the weight room…plays high and can be knocked down by tight ends. .. needs to better understand leveraging points to take full advantage of his contact length … late to read and sort the action, hampering his ability to play up front … was not a stat sheet filler in college, and that’s unlikely to change in the NFL… found himself limited throughout the draft process, missing the senior bowl and Combine NFL due to a knee injury.

SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Minnesota, Otomewo was the field’s defensive end in defensive coordinator Joe Rossi’s 4-3 base, also lining up on tackle or the B gap. Along with roommate Boye Mafe, he formed half of the Gophers’ “Nigerian Nightmares” at pass rusher, honoring the original “Nigerian Nightmare” (Christian Okoye). When using the proper leverage and timing, Otomewo can stack and throw blocks to make tackles into his gap. However, offenses aren’t afraid to run at him as his hands, leverage points, and scouting abilities are wild, giving blockers the edge. Overall, Otomewo has scrappy rushing moves and needs to max out his power with more consistent biomechanics, but he’s a five-technique tooled prospect who’s yet to hit his football ceiling.

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Lance Zierlein,

Long-lever defensive end with impressive body composition but limited game production. Otomewo’s lack of range and two-spread potential make him best suited for a 4i or 5 technique in a 3-4 front. He is a diligent, team-oriented defender who is focused on completing missions, but could leave a team hungry for more playing ability. There is still untapped potential, but Otomewo could be too limited to become more than a spin end with a run defense advantage.

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Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Newtwork:

Minnesota defensive lineman Esezi Otomewo is an intriguing developing defensive lineman who offers prototypical size, length and power to serve as a hand-in-the-dirt base at the NFL level. The senior redshirt prospect (not counting the added COVID-19 eligibility) is someone I would still consider a raw player, but he’s physically developed into the type of body you’d like to think you can find the production. Given his role on Minnesota’s defensive front, I’m not sure he’s been someone who’s had much opportunity to develop his passing skills and it would seem there’s potential lurking beneath the area to be exploited. Otomewo is a powerful player with heavy hands and lots of length. I’d like him best in a gap control defense that has him stacking and reading blocks before implementing losing techniques and continuing to chase the football. Teams looking for organic pass rush assist will likely have to look elsewhere, but as an early defender I see a lot of appeal and even some versatility for Otomewo to come in and help play as a as an interior defender.

Ideal role: Defensive end base 4-3

Pattern trends: Gap control defense with ability to hit inside in passing situations

Stage One Explosiveness: There’s some good juice here when it commits to firing up. He’s a bigger athlete and has more penetrating ability than he was able to show on the Gophers front. I think his quickness is a real winning trait inside – quick tackles probably won’t be in too much of a rush to settle on their platforms with his speed off the edge.

Flexibility: I would class Otomewo as a more dynamic athlete in linear situations, but for his size he is a pleasantly controlled athlete. I saw a nice ability to open her hips and push through creases or, alternatively, flatten out to turn a corner. The reel he shows in his frame to stack the attacking point is a nice layer – he should handle one-on-one situations well if he’s placed in the B gap and asked to hold the point.

Hand counters: there are some nice flashes here. He hit Nicholas Petit-Frère with a nice inside counter and arm maneuver in the 2021 season opener. Power rushes and long arm attacks are where he’ll move the needle soonest as it seeks to continue to grow. a more extensive repertoire, which puts a lot of emphasis on his initial quickness to help him project himself as a winning pass thrower without that extra nuance.

Length: Its reported arm length of 34.5 inches is very useful at the point of attack. He has many splitting skills when putting his hands into shape and has grown to be consistent with his stacking abilities. As a pass thrower, he has plenty of room for improvement in how quickly he is able to get rid of hands and is currently projecting himself as a power thrower who will use that upper body strength to reduce angles and roll back the pocket.

Hand Power: This is one area of ​​Otomewo’s game that worries me little. He’s got heavy hands, and his backstab, long arm, and two-handed stun are all powerful. His hand counters offer a lot of strength and will allow him to produce “recoil” at the point of attack in one-on-one situations.

Run Defending: As a play-side defender, he anchors well and needs to be effective at holding the point against practice blocks to return the ball inside. When he’s angled, he did well to crash and poke his head through the blocker’s frame to occupy decent ground. Against shooters, I’d like to see a little more solid foundation to help him really close that interior space. Good back slump and flow.

Effort (motor): I can certainly appreciate the effort that is shown here in both phases. Otomewo does well to scratch the line of scrimmage and hoof after play; he chased a number of tense runs from behind. I’ve seen him work off the numbers in pursuit, too. It’s a trial-hard in the best possible way.

Football IQ: I’m encouraged to see him able to handle so many different lineups as part of the Gophers front, but hope to continue to see further growth as a passing thrower and pre-snap anticipation to really open up his Game. There have been instances where it looks like he questioned himself in space or missed a quick action that flashes at the start of the game and thus found himself short of some games.

Lateral Mobility: There’s a nice level of mobility in his frame for such a big man. It is able to surf the LOS and maintain its race gap integrity. He is quite good at crossing the face against overtakes and has been able to get back inside in peak situations. I wouldn’t ask him to be a star player unless he’s in wide lineups – I like his forecasting better with a linebacker capping him and giving him a smaller area to control.

Versatility: Minnesota has done a lot to move him. He played fine, defensive tackle and lined up from wide angles as well. I think he can fulfill a similar role without the reps in space at the pro level and he has the makings of an inside/outside defensive lineman depending on where he lands.


Otomewo will likely compete for an early 5-tech role in the Vikings’ 3-4 base defensive front. He needs to get bigger, but his run defense skills should suit him well for the role, and his length should help him gain the advantage and get out of blocks, while his athleticism should be an asset when chasing down carriers. of ball. Perhaps in time he can develop more rushing tools to enable him to compete for a transmission role as well.


Otomewo is No. 9, lining up most often at DE, but sometimes at DT.


What level will Esezi Otomewo reach in the NFL?

  • 8%

    All-Pro / Pro Bowl

    (13 votes)

  • 1%

    Top 20% defensive tackles

    (2 voices)

  • 11%

    Above average starting defensive tackle

    (18 votes)

  • 32%

    Medium Starting Defensive Tackle

    (50 votes)

  • 14%

    Below average starting defensive tackle

    (23 votes)

  • 31%

    He will not hold

    (49 votes)

155 voices in total

Vote now

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