OWINGS MILLS, Md. – David Ojabo said that “it means the world” for him to be drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the second round on Friday, which was exactly six weeks ago, when he suffered a devastating Achilles injury to his Michigan pro. day.
Ojabo was considered a potential top-10 pick in this year’s NFL Draft before sustaining the injury in a March 18 positional exercise and crashing to the ground, where he squeezed his left leg in pain. At the time, he was ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.’s top-rated outside linebacker.
When he was selected with the overall election No. 45, Ojabo closed his eyes, tilted his head back and let out a scream. Then he hugged family members while tears ran down his face.
“You’ve seen it, it was raw emotion. Every second of it, I felt it,” Ojabo said. “Just being surrounded by friends and family. It’s a moment I will never forget.”
Pass rush is the Ravens’ biggest need, but there is a chance that Baltimore will only see Ojabo on the field in 2023. It is possible that Ojabo will have to sit out this season.
Ojabo, who wore a protective boot around his left foot and sat on a couch on Friday, said he still hopes to play in 2022.
“I’m definitely hopeful,” he said. “But I can not predict the future. So I am just day by day, doing as I am told and hoping for the best.”
During the Ravens’ pre-draft press conference, general manager Eric DeCosta spoke about Ojabo without being called upon, saying the injury “was unfortunate for us, unfortunate for the league and certainly very unfortunate for him.”
Ojabo said it was his first injury ever.
“It’s a bump in the road,” he said. “Just another obstacle I have to overcome.”
Last season, Ojabo delivered career-best 11 sacks and five forced fumbles (which led all Power 5 players) in his only full season of college football.
Ojabo goes to Baltimore, where he has a lot of knowledge. When he recovers, he will team up with former high school teammate Odafe Oweh, the Ravens’ first-round pick from a year ago, to form a promising pass-rush tandem.
On his Instagram, Odafe wrote: “I wanted to be a movie !!”
Ojabo also reunites with Raven’s defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, who served as his defensive coordinator in Michigan last season.
“It’s all part of the plan,” Ojabo said. “What are the odds that the person who comes in and gives me a chance to play is ultimately also the guy I follow to the next level. That’s the point.”