Nearly five years ago, 247Sports was wondering if Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Moro Ojomo was the best 17-year-old football player in the country as he entered his true freshman season on the Forty Acres. Now Ojomo is set to hear his name called in the 2023 NFL Draft.
A native of Nigeria, Ojomo moved to the United States when he was seven years old, eventually coming to Texas in seventh grade and playing high school football at Katy. After a huge jump in production from his junior to his senior season, Ojomo’s rise in the recruiting process highlighted the new reality of the early signing period — the lack of available players heading into the February signing period elevated the stock of late risers like Ojomo. In December, Ojomo picked up offers from Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Texas A&M before Alabama entered his recruitment in late January.
The Longhorns ultimately won out for Ojomo, who finished the cycle as a consensus three-star prospect ranked as the No. 390 player nationally and the No. 27 defensive tackle, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
The 6’3, 292-pounder played in three games as a true freshman while maintaining his redshirt, then started twice in 2019, logging 13 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and one fumble recovery. Ojomo went on to start 27 games over the next three seasons, eventually earning second-team All-Big 12 recognition in 2022 after recording 33 tackles (16 solo), 5.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, one forced fumble, and two quarterback hurries.
Perhaps the biggest question surrounding Ojomo is his best fit at the NFL level — he’s something of a tweener after playing at 276 pounds as a redshirt sophomore and now weighing in at 292 pounds, up eight pounds from his listed weight in 2022. Ojomo doesn’t have the ball get off to consistently contribute as a three-technique defensive tackle and may be best suited to playing as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme where he can use his strength, heavy hands, and motor against offensive tackles with some ability to play wider in pass-rushing situations where he can use his favored speed-to-power move. Ojomo needs to improve his flexibility and technique to maximize his upside, and while Texas never received all the benefits of Ojomo’s youth relative to his class, he’ll have a chance to reach his full maturity in the NFL and that possibility should buoy his draft stock.
Moro Ojomo is a DT prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 8.78 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 180 out of 1472 DT from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/RATPIfhjrr #RAS pic.twitter.com/FnTSl0ZQ9O— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 10, 2023
The most intriguing aspect of Ojomo’s profile is his explosiveness — his RAS ranked in the 87th percentile of all defensive tackles since 1987, including elite testing numbers with his 33-inch vertical, 9’4 board jump, and 8.20 three-cone drill. However, the explosiveness Ojomo showed during the pre-draft process didn’t always translate into consistent explosiveness on film even though he had a productive senior season.
A finance major who was an eight-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and wants to become a corporate lawyer after his football career, Ojomo is also extremely intelligent and of high character, attributes that further broaden his appeal as a draft prospect.
ESPN projects Ojomo as the No. 143 pick by the New York Jets.