Though his opponent seemed to be a step ahead, John Ojukwu was faster, stronger, and smarter.
Boise State led 28-13 with under five minutes to go in a Mountain West battle against San Diego State last season. The Broncos were just 30 yards from scoring again and decided to lean on the ground game.
An SDSU defensive end appeared to be ready for it as he crashed in toward the middle of the field at the snap of the ball. But Ojukwu, a stalwart for Boise State’s offense the past few years at left tackle, rapidly adapted and with a few quick steps stopped his opponent from moving any further.
Though the SDSU defender kept pushing, Ojukwu dug in. This kept a rushing lane open and eventually led to an easy touchdown.
Between his instincts and athleticism, Ojukwu would bring several impressive abilities to an NFL offensive line.
John Ojukwu Stats and Highlights
Ojukwu didn’t allow a single sack in his final season at Boise State, according to Pro Football Focus.
Ojukwu has been an all-conference player for the past three seasons. He was on the All-Mountain West first team in 2022 and 2021 and the second team in 2020.
Ojukwu allowed just 14 quarterback pressures while committing two penalties in 2022, via PFF. The year before, he allowed 20 pressures and four sacks while committing one single penalty.
John Ojukwu Draft Projection
Ojukwu would be a valuable addition to an NFL team in the fifth round of the draft. Some have predicted he could go as late as the seventh round as well.
John Ojukwu Draft Profile
At 6-foot-5, 304 pounds, Ojukwu has the size to become a starting tackle in the NFL. But he has the skills for it, too.
Ojukwu was Boise State’s left tackle the past three seasons, but he did play right tackle earlier in his career and could switch back to that side for an NFL team.
At the NFL Combine, Ojukwu ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.52 seconds, which was second among all offensive linemen, and ran the three-cone drill in 7.52 seconds, which was fifth.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.24 seconds with a 1.81-second 10-yard split. He recorded a broad jump of 8 feet, 8 inches, a vertical jump of 28.5 inches, and 26 bench press reps. This all helped him earn an athleticism score of 82, which was eighth among offensive tackles.
Ojukwu clearly has quick feet on tape and can reach the second level in a hurry if needed. This also means it’s not easy to get a step ahead of Ojukwu on the outside on passing plays.
Ojukwu does have his pad level too high at times, so he loses out on opportunities to gain more leverage in the run game. But he does have sound footwork and technique with his hands, especially in pass protection.
Ojukwu may need to make a few adjustments, but he has the potential to develop into a starter in the NFL one day.