Stand out Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari revealed he has had virtual meetings with the 49ers.
At Georgia’s Pro Day availability, Ojulari admitted he was familiar with defensive line coach Kris Kocurek and the 49ers wide-9 front. Pro Football Focus' fourth ranked edge prospect is confident he would fit in well in the 49ers scheme having played in both a 4-3 and 3-4 defense at Georgia.
The 6-foot-3, 240 pound lineman improved significantly in his final season at Georgia, racking up 9.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for a loss, two pass break-ups and four forced fumbles. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah has Ojulari ranked as the No. 39 overall prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft and mocked to the Buffalo Bills as the No. 30 selection.
Ojulari, who most admires the play of Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Shaq Barrett, believes he has all of the qualities needed to make an immediate impact in the NFL.
“I just feel like my versatility, the way I use my hands and the way I can bend, I feel like I’m the most bendy and versatile,” Ojulari said. “I have an explosive first step and I like to drop into coverage too. You’re not just getting a pass rusher out of me, you’re getting all three downs.”
Georgia football head coach Kirby Smart believes Ojulari will thrive in the NFL, not only on the field, but in the locker room. He noted that the outside linebacker received the most votes by teammates to be elected as a team captain since Smart arrived in 2016.
Smart detailed Olujari’s work ethic and attitude as reasons why his teammates admire him. The defensive lineman’s “high character and toughness” are what will attract NFL teams, making him a fit for any franchise.
“I think when you start trying to build a defense, it starts with what kind of toughness do you have,” Smart said. “When you rank tough players, Azeez Ojulari is really high.
“He strikes, makes contact and never shies away. He doesn’t complain when you go full pads. He wants every part of it. He is a high character player off the field. He’s going to be an asset in the locker room and make your whole team better but he’s also talented.”
The 49ers signed former Los Angeles Rams Samson Ebukam to add depth with Dee Ford’s availability uncertain for the start of the 2021 season. The 49ers own a draft pick in each of the first two rounds (No. 12 and No. 43) and Ojulari is projected as a late first-round, early second-round selection.
“I’m excited to see where he goes,” Smart said. “Somebody is going to get a great young man in Azeez.”