5 edge rushers the Carolina Panthers could select in the 2023 NFL Draft
Carolina Panthers could draft B.J. Ojulari
LSU has been a factory of NFL talent for years, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. B.J. Ojulari could be the next in a long line of Bayou Bengals to find success at the next level.
An All-SEC player and an LSU team captain during the 2022 season, Ojulari was second on the team in tackles for loss (8.5) while also finishing second in sacks (5.5) despite missing two games due to injury and sitting out of the team's bowl game.
Ojulari also has NFL bloodlines, as his older brother Azeez currently plays for the New York Giants. Something the Carolina Panthers and others around the league could value highly.
A versatile player with the ability to shift between the defensive end and outside linebacker positions, Ojulari projects as a productive pass rusher at the next level. NFL analyst Lance Zierlein compared him to Tennessee Titans Pro Bowler Harold Landry.
An explosive athlete who gets up the field quickly, Ojulari will only get better as a pass rusher as he continues to grow. He has the requisite speed to beat tackles off the edge and the strength to overpower help from tight ends and running backs to get home on his rushes.
Ojulari is not without flaws. Namely, his effectiveness against the run is a key area for improvement.
While he contains the necessary physical ability to be an impactful defender in run situations, his effort tended to drift when the play did not come directly his way. In a 3-4 scheme in which fewer players are up at the line of scrimmage, consistent effort on all plays is a requirement - getting that from Ojulari will be key to being a potential fit for the Panthers.