The Colts’ defense finished a decent 16th overall in 2021, but the pass rush was sorely lacking; Indianapolis tied for 25th in sacks (33) and 24th in pressures (157). As great as DeForest Buckner is, it’s not ideal when an interior lineman with seven sacks leads your team in that category. Ogbah, who’s spent the past two seasons in Miami, finished with the 14th-most pressures (54) in the NFL in 2021, per Next Gen Stats, and his 18 sacks over the past two seasons are tied for 10th-most in the league (matching pass-rushing studs like Joey Bosa, Brian Burns and Yannick Ngakoue).
At age 28 years old, the former 2016 second round pick of the Cleveland Browns, who later became a Super Bowl LIV Champion with the Kansas City Chiefs, has really hit his stride over the past two seasons with the Dolphins:
Most pressures among Edge Rushers over the last two seasons— PFF MIA Dolphins (@PFF_Dolphins) January 27, 2022
1. Shaquil Barrett: 151
2. Maxx Crosby: 148
3. T.J. Watt: 135
4. Myles Garrett: 134
5. Joey Bosa: 129
6. Emmanuel Ogbah: 126 pic.twitter.com/9WO8G0LzKO
This past season, Ogbah recorded 41 tackles (26 solo), 9 tackles for loss, 9.0 sacks, 61 total QB pressures, 12 passes defensed, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery during all 17 games (11 starts).
Per PFF (subscription), Ogbah was their 20th best graded edge overall with a +77.0 overall grade—including a +71.4 pass rushing grade.
At a listed 6’4”, 275 pounds, Ogbah most likely projects as the 4T/6T in new Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s scheme as the ‘big end’, which is presumably 2nd-year defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo’s most natural position too. That being said, a defense can never have enough pass rush, and Bradley would have some versatility up front to get both players on the field—if necessary:
“That’s so important and affecting the quarterback, and sometimes affecting the quarterback, people just point to the stat of how many sacks, but it’s more than that,” Bradley said in is introductory press conference. “It’s getting them (the quarterbacks) off the spot. It’s can you make the quarterback hitch, where there’s some indecision to allow the rush to get there. There’s a lot that goes into affecting the quarterback, but it’s a big part now to playing good defense. You have to be able to affect the quarterback.”
The team could really use another high-end impact edge rusher to add to its rotational group and help jumpstart Bradley’s new Colts defense in style.
This offseason, could such player actually be Ogbah?