Skip to main content

2020 NFL Draft

4 things to know about Emmanuel Ogbah and how he'll fit with the Browns

Emmanuel Ogbah is the newest member of the Browns.

But it took the Oklahoma State defensive end by surprise Friday evening when Cleveland selected him at No. 32 to open up the second day of the NFL Draft.

"I had no idea I was going to be a Cleveland Brown," Ogbah said on a conference call, laughing.

Here's what you should know about Ogbah and the decision to bring the native Nigerian to Berea as the Browns continue to build their roster from the ground up.

'Too good to pass up'

Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and Hue Jackson met with reporters to outline why Ogbah — who was projected by some draft analysts to be a late first-round pick — caught their eye.

"We had a first-round grade on him so we were hopeful and really pleased leaving last night that he sat there waiting on us," Brown said. "And we had some debate today about whether or not we trade out and frankly the player was just too good to pass up on any other opportunities that were there."

Jackson, who was impressed by Ogbah's unusual combination of size and speed, echoed a similar sentiment.

"The guy's 6-foot-4 and he's 275 pounds and has 4.6 speed. He's had 24 sacks in the last two years," Jackson said, adding, "that was the best guy sitting there and he was too good to pass up. So this guy brings a dynamic on defense."

Ogbah, who amassed 133 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss and 26.5 in three seasons at Oklahoma State, clocked a 4.67-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in February.

"We actually thought he could go as early as middle of the first round and to see him sitting there," Brown said. "It was tempting today to listen to some calls but nobody was really able to give us the value of Emmanuel."

Like Mike

Ogbah said he's tried to model his game after two of the game's best pass rushers in New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014, and Osi Umenyiora, who retired two seasons ago.

Coincidentally, Ogbah will play for one of Umenyiora's coaches in Robert Nunn, who is in his first year as the Browns defensive line coach after six seasons with the Giants.

Of Strahan, Ogbah said, "I kind of modeled my game after him. He's a relentless pass rusher with speed and power and that's the kind of moves I normally do when I pass rush."

Finding versatile pass rushers

Among the reasons for taking Ogbah, Brown and Jackson made it clear Cleveland's in the market for pass rushers who can make a difference.

"We said we want to be suffocating and we understand we have to affect the quarterback in our division and throughout pro football, and this guy has that element," Jackson said, reiterating a sentiment made by defensive coordinator Ray Horton earlier this offseason.

To be sure, Ogbah will have to adjust to Horton's 3-4 defense after playing in a 4-3 with the Cowboys.

"I think the defense we'll play here will be a little bit different for him, we'll ask him to do a little bit of different things," Brown said, "but we're confident in the things Oklahoma State asked him to do that he'll be able to do under Ray … we absolutely anticipate that he'll be able to meet all our expectations."

Ogbah appeared undaunted by learning a new defense.

"I'll play whatever position the Cleveland Browns want to play," he said. "I'll rush standing up, I'll rush with my hand on the ground, whatever they want me to do I'm ready to do it."

Ogbah's versatility also makes him a candidate to be a linebacker in a three-down scheme, Jackson said.

"He has that kind of versatility and that kind of skill set," he said. "We drafted him because he can do both of those things well."

Off the field

When Ogbah was 9 years old, he and his family moved from Nigeria to Houston.

"The reason why we immigrated was because my dad just wanted a better life for the family because there's a lot of corruption back in Nigeria," he said.

Known for his work ethic and character in the buildup to the draft, Ogbah said his family instilled in him a set of core values at an early age.

"It's just the way I was raised," he said. "My parents really instilled in me the act of respect and respecting everybody around … my dad's also a pastor so that helped a lot too."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content