Charlotte 49ers: Larry Ogunjobi Raises the Profile

The Charlotte 49ers should have a good day during the NFL Draft when Larry Ogunjobi gets picked.

The Charlotte 49ers have not had a football program for all that long. They have had a total of one coach and really just one group of guys that went from freshmen to seniors under them. Still, the 49ers have managed to pull something off that will help them down the road. They got a guy to be highly considered by the NFL Draft.

That guy is Larry Ogunjobi. Don’t tell him that the defensive tackle class is a little shallow in the middle of a deep draft otherwise. Ogunjobi will be playing on Sundays because he is a 6’3” 300 pounds lineman who can move. There are always spots for those guys either as nose tackles in 3-4 units or run defense anchors in 4-3 units. If a player does the job well from that spot, then he could be in the league for a long time like Vince Wilfork is.

Ogunjobi made his reputation as a run stuffer the last few seasons, but he was still nimble enough to get three sacks and thirteen and a half tackles for loss on a defense with few other focuses for an offense.

It is just too bad that the Panthers are not patching holes in their line with this draft. The team that drafted Vernon Butler last year could just have easily taken Ogunjobi in this draft if they had passed on Butler in the last one. It is doubtful the Panthers would draft Ogunjobi with one their two second round picks, knowing he would be at best fourth in the rotation.

Somebody will take him and early too. Ogunjobi rates as one of the five best defensive tackles in the draft and has a second round draft grade. One place that I could easily see him going to would the Buffalo Bills under former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. McDermott would understand the value of building around big tackles and he has the 44th pick available to do just that.

Wherever and whenever Ogunjobi’s name gets called, it will be a big step forward for the 49ers. It will be proof that you can get to the pros from a school near a delayed light rail line, and that will make recruits and transfers think carefully before passing on a scholarship offer in the future.