It’s rivalry week in college football. With games that will undoubtedly shape the postseason landscape, it’s time to take a closer look at three players who could be the biggest catalysts to their team’s success, in what will likely be their final seasons before heading to the next level.
Dylan’s Dimes will be a ten step breakdown of three of the biggest draft eligible players taking the field in some of the biggest matchups each week. I analyze background, on the field performance, off the field traits, opinions around the NCAA, all leading up to the dropping the dime on how they could fit with gang green.
We start this week with a prospect who’s shot on to scouts radars across the country after putting together a fantastic senior season to this point. He’s well traveled, born in Nigeria, spending time in Scotland and New Jersey before landing in Michigan. His next step will likely be the NFL, leading off this week is DE, David Ojabo.
Back to back from the Big House, as the Michigan Wolverines prepare to take on Ohio State in their biggest game of the season, shutting down C.J. Stroud will be imperative. Although Ojabo and Aiden Hutchinson will be tasked with disrupting, the burden of breaking up the pass and making plays will fall on a top defensive back and the second player going through the gauntlet this week, DB, Daxton Hill.
An incredible athlete, this player was heavily recruited before committing to Ohio State. After fighting to earn reps behind prospects Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, this player opted to transfer and quickly has made a name for himself at Alabama. As one of Bryce Young’s preferred targets, he’s made a massive impact for the Tide, and projects to be a member of a loaded receiver class if he chooses to declare. The third and final player going through the wringer this week is WR, Jameson Williams.
-From: Aberdeen, Scotland
-From: Tulsa, OK
-From: St Louis, MO
As I noted before, Ojabo has been well traveled. Ojabo was born in Nigeria and lived there for 7 years before moving to Aberdeen, Scotland. From there, Ojabo moved to New Jersey to attend high school in the United States. As a freak athlete, he played soccer and basketball in his first two years at Blair Academy before joining the football team in his junior year. He immediately made an impact posting 35 tackles, 6.0 sacks and two forced fumbles in his first year. He then followed that up with another excellent season garnering attention from Clemson, Notre Dame, Penn State and other top programs. Ultimately, Ojabo chose Michigan where he’s become a key player in the past two seasons.
Hill attended Booker T. Washington for four years, posting some incredible statistics as a receiver and defensive back. Hill lit it up his senior year though, catching 13 passes for 360 yards and 7 touchdowns. Hill added 93 tackles, 9 TFLs, a sack, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He was named Gatorade Player of the Year in Oklahoma and top prospect in the state. He received loads of attention from every top school before choosing to commit to Michigan where he made an impact from day one. Hill took snaps at safety and special teams, worked up to a starting role and has been an anchor of the defense since.
Williams had an exceptional junior and senior year at Cardinal Ritter College Prep. In his junior season, Williams had 1,062 yards and 15 touchdowns. Then senior year he had 1,626 yards and 22 touchdowns. Williams, an incredible athlete, won two state titles in track and field as well. Williams was heavily recruited and initially committed to Ohio State. Williams sat behind Garret Wilson and Chris Olave and fought to garner reps before transferring to Alabama where he made an impact the minute he stepped on campus.
2020 & 2021 Statistics:
2020: 1 game and 1 tackle (played most snaps on special teams)
2021: 11 games, 30 tackles, 10.0 TFLs, 10.0 sacks, 5 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
2020: 6 games, 44 tackles and an interception.
2021: 11 games, 53 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, .5 sacks, 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery.
2020: 6 games, 9 receptions, 154 yards, 17.1 yards per reception and 2 TDs.
2021: 11 games, 59 receptions, 1,218 yards, 20.6 yards per reception and 13 TDs.
As a superb athlete, Ojabo uses that athleticism to constantly disrupt the game whenever he steps on the field. His athleticism allows him to close and he has absurd range. He has burst like he is constantly is shot out of a cannon, and he never stops until the play is dead. He’s strong and his combination of size and speed make him a nightmare for opposing offenses. He’s truly one of the most gifted athletes in this class and his athletic potential is unmatched.
Speaking of gifted Michigan athletes, Hill is another. Hill has truly expanded his role this season and shown all he’s capable of in both rush defense and coverage. In run defense, he’s an explosive athlete with excellent closing ability. In coverage, Hill excels in the centerfielder role, with the speed to keep up with anyone and make an impact on the play consistently, Hill reads the eyes of the opposing quarterback very well and finds ways to limit the passer as he runs through his progressions.
If a team is looking for a bonafide game wrecking deep threat with 4.3 speed, look no further. Jameson Williams is a game wrecker. Williams has good hands, excellent timing in how he breaks his routes, good concentration and constantly makes a play with the ball in his hands. His explosive play style will draw loads of attention from now until draft day, and the Tyreek Hill game breaking ability comparisons will be inevitable.
For Ojabo the biggest concern is his inexperience. Ojabo is still incredibly fresh in football years. Although he’s showed advancement over time, he doesn’t have the same football IQ as other top edge rushers in the class. Ojabo’s pass rush moves aren’t as advanced and his hand use and the angles he takes show a player who is still fairly raw.
Hill has shown advancement in play recognition, but especially in run defense, he will need to show growth. Often times, given the explosiveness of the Wolverines pass rush and their incredible talent, Hill doesn’t have to be counted on as often as other defensive backs in the country. In man to man situations, and as he faced tougher competition, Hill will struggle with 50/50 balls, as although he can disrupt, he struggles to make the big play when need be. Refinement in recognition and improved playmaking could take Hill to the next level as a prospect.
Williams isn’t the most refined route runner, and it shows at points. Williams is a deep threat, but his frame is skinny and he will struggle to reel in contested catches especially against larger defenders at the next level. Some will pigeon hole Williams as a prototypical deep threat, and he will have to show a lot in pre draft interviews to show he can match up mentally with some of the best of a loaded receiver class. Advancing his route tree and adding more layers to his route running like fakes and crisper cuts could give him another dimension to his game.
7/10-The Focus of Improvement:
Ojabo: Continue To Show Growth
Williams: Route Running Advancement
Ojabo has incredibly high potential. The player I saw against Penn State live is the kind of player who could wreck games at the next level. Ojabo will have to show advancement in his pass rushing moves and football IQ, but if he can, he can be a true three down player at the next level. His athleticism will make him a player who could fit in almost any scheme, and his value will be through the roof. If he can be coached up properly, the sky truly is the limit for Ojabo.
Hill is an exceptional athlete with versatility capable of making him a fit in most defenses. I think Hill will thrive more as a centerfielder style safety, although not a liability in coverage, his timing and ability to make legitimate plays on the ball leave a little to be desired. If he finds the right fit, Hill could be a long term starter at the next level.
Williams could be an exceptional weapon at the next level. At 6’2”, 192lbs, Williams will fit the versatile undersized deep threat role that guys like former Alabama product Jaylen Waddle. Although not as technically gifted as Waddle or as well rounded as Devonta Smith, Williams will provide versatility as he could play both slot and outside. He will likely begin as a wide receiver four with potential to be a starter regardless of scheme at the next level.
9/10-The Outside Opinion:
“Ojabo has been one of the most impressive newcomers in the country this season…while Ojabo needs to work on his all-around game, there’s a lot to like. He’s still young; he could develop into an elite edge rusher.”- Mel Kiper, ESPN
“He’s an athletic anomaly, who’s developed into a true football player this year, not just an incredible athlete who happens to play the sport. As he continues to develop, the sky is the limit and his stock is certainly trending in the right direction.”- Daniel Griffis, USA Today
“So could Jameson Williams push for round 1 in the 2022 NFL Draft? The formula is there. His long speed, short area burst, flexibility, stop/start quickness, and ability to separate quickly make the case. We know how much NFL teams like speed in receiver prospects, so it’s not a wild proposition.”- Jacob Schyvinck, FANSIDED
In David Ojabo, I see a versatile athlete capable of growing into a force at the next level. He’s a stand up individual with the general intelligence and drive to truly learn and refine his craft over time. Players like that are blue chip character guys and prospects. His scheme fit might not necessarily be as straight forward as it would be with other teams, but with the Jets he could get a very good chance to work alongside Carl Lawson, a formidable disruptor and defensive linemen like Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers who excel at bull rushing. Ojabo could garner less attention and use his athleticism to work off right tackles for the time being. Adding an athletic rusher like Ojabo is appealing as truthfully, the more athletes with the ability to play multiple roles, the better, especially in a defense like this that is so void of talent.
Hill’s fit, especially based on where he will be valued could make it more difficult to project him to the Jets. Hill could be a good fit for the team strictly as a player as the team needs more talent at the safety position. Ashtyn Davis has taken strides in the centerfielder role, and the team could rely on him to continue to grow and look to add a strong safety type alongside him. If that’s the case, Hill isn’t there guy. If the team opts to go with two athletic safeties and utilize them in different packages, then Hill could possibly be an option. Ultimately, Hill will likely go in the first or second round, and although the team has a plethora of picks in those two rounds, there are other positions that project as bigger needs.
On “Draft SZN” this week, we debated how exactly the Jets could best situate Elijah Moore to open things up for him more. Adding someone like Jameson Williams could be the perfect way to do that. Williams could work outside just like Moore, and allow Moore to split time in the slot and in handoff/RPO style packages as well, where they both could be of use. Adding a player like Williams could give the Jets a dynamic duo of two exceptional athletes with game wrecking abilities. Zach Wilson is also a quarterback who thrives with outside threats and tends to struggle reading the middle of the field, giving him more options to suit his play style could take a load of pressure off. The only concerns are Williams likely being drafted too high for the Jets to justify another high pick on a receiver, and a lack of size in the receiving corps.