Houston Texans Draft Series: DE Emmanual Ogbah

Nov 21, 2015; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (38) reacts during the game against the Baylor Bears at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2015; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (38) reacts during the game against the Baylor Bears at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports /

DE Emmanual Ogbah was a force to be reckoned with in College, but does he have what it takes to make it in the NFL? Should the Houston Texans add him to their radar?

Emmanual Ikechukwu Ogbah, raised in Houston, could find himself back in his home city following the 2016 NFL Draft.

Ogbah and his family moved from Nigeria to Houston when he was just nine years old. Coincidentally, Ogbah’s middle name is Ikechukwu meaning, “God’s Power”; he did just that as he flourished athletically in his new country, eventually becoming a finalist for the greater Houston high school defensive player of the year award. After his time at George Bush high school, Ogbah received many Division I scholarship offers, but he chose to commit to Oklahoma State University mainly due to his respect for fellow Nigerian and former OSU offensive tackle Russell Okung.

The 6-foot-4 inch Ogbah found huge success with OSU.

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Ogbah played in every game as a redshirt freshman, and once inserted into the starting lineup, he continued to establish his physical presence by winning Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year. Ogbah finished his breakout season with 17 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. Last season, Ogbah added more accolades to his name. He was honored with the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year award, as he also received All-American honors. Ogbah wrapped up his collegiate career with a stellar season, in which he tallied 17.5 tackles for loss and led the conference in sacks with 13.

Although some say the Oklahoma State Cowboys didn’t meet expectations last season, NFL scouts still see Ogbah as a top tier pass rusher at the professional level.


Height: 6’4″

Weight: 273 lbs

Arm Length: 35 1/2″

Hands: 10″

Weaknesses: Shows stiffness in hips and is not a dynamic athlete, Has inconsistent awareness and his awareness of developing plays needs improvement. Unable to burn the edges with quickness, Needs to disengage more quickly from bull rushes.

Strengths: Able to absorb contact and play through it, Tough for lineman to re-direct and is able to beat Tight Ends one-on-one, Can play a number of positions, Has power to win at the point of attack and capture the neutral zone while posting consistent production.

With Ogbah’s thick and powerful frame, broad shoulders and raw power, NFL scouts are comparing him to Carolina Panthers’ defensive end Charles Johnson.

"“I cross-checked D-linemen this year, that was my position, and he fits right in. We call him a big end, or a big rush end, like Charles Johnson or the Florida State kid last year [second-rounder Mario Edwards]. We have him in that same range.” — NFC pro scout"

Combine Results

According to NFL.com, Ogbah received an overall combine grade of 6.07, meaning he has a good chance of becoming a quality NFL starter. As for the drills, the former OSU Cowboy competed in six out of the seven drills, and was honored as the DE top performer in the 40 yard dash (4.63 sec), vertical jump (35.5 inches) and broad jump (121 inches). Ogbah tested his upper body strength in the bench pressed by completing 20 reps of 225 pounds, and he also showed NFL scouts his quickness and agility in the 3 cone drill (7.26 sec) and the 20 yard shuttle (4.5 sec).

Where he fits with the Texans

An NFL franchise can never have enough defensive ends, especially if the team has a leader like three time defensive player of the year J.J. Watt on the roster. Having a player like Watt is so valuable, because he can play the teacher role and mentor incoming rookies. Players like Emmanuel Ogbah could learn a tremendous amount from Watt. With the lose of Jared Crick to the Denver Broncos, the Texans believe it or not have only three total defensive ends under contract: Watt, Jeoffrey Pagan and Dan Pettinato. – Yes, Houston is in desperate need of a defensive end.

Is he worth a pick?

According to ESPN Draft Analyst Todd McShay, Emmanuel Ogbah is currently projected to be an early third round pick – which fits into Houston’s potential draft scheme. The problem is that Houston runs a 3-4 defense, and Ogbah ideally fits as a strong-side end in a 4-3 scheme. A plus is that he stood up occasionally, but the feeling in NFL circles is that Ogbah would be best from a three-point stance in the league. The Texans cannot afford to slip Ogbah into the lineup opposite of Watt because he simply doesn’t have the required speed to play as a 3-4 end. Because of this, Ogbah should only be on Houston’s radar if he slips into the late third or fourth rounds.