Devine Ozigbo Is An Underrated Running Back Prospect In The 2019 NFL Draft That Could Be An Excellent Addition To The Detroit Lions Backfield.
With Mack Brown staying with the Rams, and no news on Spencer Ware, the Detroit Lions are still very much in the market to add another running back to their rotation. I’ve looked at a few of the potential receiving backs and some of the top names in the class, and all of them are potential options to Detroit at this point. We have absolutely no idea how, when, or if the Detroit Lions are going to add another running back to their roster.
Devine Ozigbo is a player that should absolutely be in consideration if the Detroit Lions decide to add someone in the NFL Draft. There is still a chance that they add someone in free agency and feel good about their running back group going into the NFL Draft, but I think that Devine Ozigbo is a superior option to the remaining free agents at the running back position, and he isn’t likely to be an early round pick.
Devine Ozigbo is a big back. He weighed in at the combine at 222 pounds and has a stout, muscular frame that gives him ideal size for an NFL running back. Ozigbo keeps a nice center of gravity and runs with really good balance. He has the contact balance to bounce off tacklers and run through arm tackles as well as the power to push the pile and fall forward through defenders that square him up. Devine Ozigbo isn’t necessarily a violent runner, but he is a powerful one.
Devine Ozigbo has a really nice blend of vision and patience at the line of scrimmage. He does a nice job of letting his blocks set up in front of him, finding a lane and getting upfield. He has surprising burst in his initial cut and does a really nice job of contorting to get skinny through the line of scrimmage. Both of those things are impressive for a running back of his size.
What’s more impressive is his lateral agility. Devine Ozigbo is surprisingly good in his lateral movement and has some good elusiveness in open field. The ability to win with both power and elusiveness is a combination that is very rare in this running back class and it makes Devine Ozigbo a uniquely valuable back in this class.
His vision and agility help him string together cuts to work through traffic at the line of scrimmage and get him to the next level where he can use his open field skills to his advantage.
Ozigbo tested adequately in the 40-yard dash at his pro day. His tape doesn’t show the blazing speed to be a home run threat at the NFL level, but it looked adequate, and his time at his pro day confirmed this. He has the speed to get to the corner but isn’t likely to be running away from defensive backs in the open field.
His pass protection is a work in progress. He has the size and strength to be effective in this area, and he has shown flashes of ability, but he isn’t polished yet. He should show quick improvement in this area at the next level, given his physical traits and size.
Devine Ozigbo isn’t the ideal receiving back. Surprisingly, he caught a lot of passes at Nebraska, but there were a lot of catches that weren’t pretty. He never looked natural catching the ball and bobbled several passes in the games I watched so, despite his college production, I don’t think this is going to be a huge part of his game at the next level. He is probably safe to catch swing passes and screens, but I don’t expect him to be a dynamic threat in the receiving game.
Devine Ozigbo looks like he could be a full-time back at the NFL level. He wouldn’t be in Detroit but, luckily, I don’t think that he will be drafted like one either. I think Devine Ozigbo could be a running back that could take some work off Kerryon Johnson‘s plate and excel in a secondary role, but could also come in and be a solid starter if Kerryon Johnson has to miss time with injury. He would likely be pulled in obvious passing situations, but he could still go out and catch passes on early downs. Devine Ozigbo is one of my favorite fits for the Detroit Lions if they opt to take a running back in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he could be a very real possibility in the middle to late rounds.