Once considered a possible top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL draft, Michigan EDGE David Ojabo’s projection is suddenly murky following the torn Achilles injury he suffered at the Wolverines’ pro day on Friday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first confirmed that Ojabo suffered a torn Achilles at the event.
Tests confirmed that LB David Ojabo tore his Achilles, per a Michigan source. Doctors expect a full and complete recovery.
Rams’ RB Cam Akers tore his Achilles last summer and was back in about six months, and doctors expect Ojabo to be on the same timeline.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2022
Akers’ speedy recovery last season was considered a game-changing development in the sports medicine realm last year, but it will be curious to see whether other athletes can bounce back in similar fashion.
One scouting director Yahoo Sports spoke to Friday night, who assumed but could not confirm Ojabo had suffered a torn Achilles, believes the injury in his left leg could drop him “20 spots or more” because of the time he’ll miss and the concern that Achilles injuries sometimes can make recurrence more common and possibly lead to chronic issues.
The 6-4, 250-pound Ojabo was a major breakout star last season for the playoff-bound Wolverines. After playing all of 26 defensive snaps in 2020, he became a full-time starter for Michigan last season and amassed 35 tackles (12 for loss), 11 sacks and a program-record five forced fumbles.
The injury was a freak occurrence. Ojabo only participated in positional drills at the pro day. When he was dropping in coverage during the drill, Ojabo crumbled to the turf as the assembled crowd at the event fell silent.
Ojabo turned in a banner workout at the NFL scouting combine, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash, vertical jumping 35 inches, broad jumping 10-foot-2 and turning in a 4.45-second 20-yard shuttle drill.
Last year, Vanderbilt DL Dayo Odeyingbo suffered an Achilles tear a bit earlier in the pre-draft process and fell from a possible top-40 pick to a late second-rounder. But Odeyingbo saw the field in Week 8 last season and played in the Indianapolis Colts‘ final 10 games.
Ojabo told the Detroit Free Press following his injury: “I’ll be back. You can print that in your article.”
Ojabo still might end up a late first-round pick. But it’s clear that he won’t be going as high as he was projected to a mere 48 hours ago.