Cleveland Browns: Larry Ogunjobi pegged as overrated free agent
The Cleveland Browns aren’t expected to retain Larry Ogunjobi but if PFF is correct, someone could be preparing to overpay him in free agency
After four seasons with the Cleveland Browns, defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi is set to hit the open market. A former third-round pick in 2017 (and the first-ever selection in Charlotte 49ers football history), Ogunjobi is believed to be set to leave the Dawg Pound this offseason as indications suggest the team is ready to move on.
And according to Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, that’s likely the right move for the team. Monson recently released his most overrated and underrated free agents this offseason and Ogunjobi made the list as the most overrated defensive tackle.
Monson cites his explosiveness back in 2017 as a reason that he rose to prominence but then says he’s been trending in the wrong direction recently — with 2020 serving as a rough year for the defensive tackle.
"“There is little doubt that Ogunjobi has the tools to make a huge impact now and then, but the evidence of him being a major upgrade for any defensive line is getting further away in the rearview mirror while his more recent tape has been moving steadily in the wrong direction. He generated just 23 total pressures on over 400 pass-rushing snaps last season, all while earning a PFF run-defense grade of only 53.8, 89th among 134 qualifying interior defensive linemen.” — Monson, PFF"
While it’s hard to argue against the numbers Monson cites, the fact is Ogunjobi has been playing out of position as of late. Since the Browns signed Sheldon Richardson ahead of the 2019 season, Larry O has moved to the one-technique where he’s not as effective as he was in the three-technique.
An athletic freak, Ogunjobi was generating more pressure in his two seasons before Richardson arrived (pushing him to the nose) and there will surely be a team out there willing to give him the chance to move back into a position where he can find success.
Should a team bring him in and allow him to focus more on the pass-rush (and less on clogging the running lanes) Ogunjobi could see his career get back on the right track. However, if a team continues to utilize him the way Cleveland has over the past two seasons, it could prove Monson’s opinion to be correct.