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Kansas City Chiefs: Emmanuel Ogbah Film Review

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On April 1, the Chiefs executed another trade, acquiring defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah for safety Eric Murray. Ogbah was a target for the Chiefs for a very long time. Why were the Chiefs so quick to target Ogbah this offseason?

After losing star pass rushers Justin Houston and Dee Ford in one offseason, general manager Brett Veach was looking for edge rusher help desperately. Kansas City only had Breeland Speaks, Tanoh Kpassagnon, and Alex Okafor on the roster. Veach identified this problem, and decided to look at Emmanuel Ogbah as a piece that could help out. Veach was even willing to let go of a safety to go get Ogbah. So why did Veach decide to get Ogbah? What skills does he have that he could bring to this team? When watching the film, it was very obvious was Kansas City was looking for.

Scouting Report

Ogbah, a 6-foot-4, 269 pound defensive end from the Browns, brings a large skill set to the Chiefs. Ogbah is a great athlete, who’s first step explosion is unparalleled. At his combine, Ogbah blew everyone away with his athleticism. Ogbah also has very long arms, which allow him to deflect balls into the ground. Put simply, Ogbah is a freak athlete. He doesn’t have great hips or long speed, but his power, body, and explosion is some of the best I have ever seen.

Ogbah hasn’t been super productive since coming into the league. After an impressive five and a half sacks in his rookie year, his sack totals have dipped over the past two years. This year, he only had three sacks. His tackles for loss have also decreased over the years. After having some issue with his feet, he hasn’t been quite the same athlete, but was getting back to better form last year.

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The Numbers

As I do for every pass rusher, I watch and chart five games from their previous season. I split games into two categories; run and pass downs. There are many different things I look for when I chart, but so main ones are win and loss rates, pressures, and stuffs. Ogbah was definitely a very interesting case study when watching his tape.

Ogbah Run Snaps
Game Snaps Charted Run D Win Run D Loss Run D Neutral Stuff Double Team Run Win % Run Loss %
Ravens 16 4 1 11 4 0 25.0% 6.3%
Raiders 25 4 1 20 1 1 16.0% 4.0%
Buccaneers 25 4 0 21 2 2 16.0% 0.0%
Panthers 19 4 1 14 2 2 21.1% 5.3%
Broncos 13 3 2 8 3 1 23.1% 15.4%
TOTAL 98 19 5 74 12 6 19.4% 5.1%

Ogbah’s numbers against the run were amazing. He by far has the lowest loss rate I have ever charted so far. A 5.1% loss rate is staggering, for any player. The 19.4% win rate isn’t super high, but does compare with players around a similar player tier of Ogbah. Teammates Alex Okafor also had a 19% win rate for comparison. Ogbah also had a high amount of stuffs, which means that he is good at stopping the run and getting the tackle. I don’t chart this, but Ogbah only missed one or two tackles the entire time I watched him, which was impressive

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Ogbah’s best strength is his ability to be dominant against the run. His strength and power make it near impossible to run at him. Ogbah also takes fantastic angles, and has enough explosion to stuff plays from the weak side of the run. Last year, the Browns gave up one less yard per carry when Ogbah was on the field. Just having him out there made their run defense significantly better overall. The reason why he played so much, was his ability to line up in any spot on the defensive line, and be dominant against the run.

Ogbah Pass Snaps
Game Snaps Charted Pass Rush Win Pass Rush Loss Pass Rush Neutral Double Team Pass Deflection Drops into Coverage Pressures Pass Rush Win % Pass Rush Loss % Pressure Rate
Ravens 51 8 7 33 13 0 3 2 16.7% 14.6% 4.2%
Raiders 44 6 9 28 2 3 1 3 14.0% 20.9% 7.0%
Buccaneers 61 8 9 42 6 2 2 6 13.6% 15.3% 10.2%
Panthers 35 3 4 26 4 0 2 1 9.1% 12.1% 3.0%
Broncos 40 4 5 31 8 0 0 2 10.0% 12.5% 5.0%
TOTAL 231 29 34 160 33 5 8 14 13.0% 15.2% 6.3%

I wish I could say the same about Ogbah’s skills as a pass rusher. Put simply, he is not good against the pass. I charted three overtime games, so Ogbah got many snaps to show off his pass rush skills, but wasn’t that impressive to me. His win rate was low compared to other pass rushers I charted. Breeland Speaks was around 14-15% win rate, and Ogbah was even worse than that. Ogbah had games where he made no impact against the passer.

Not only that, but his loss rate was high. 15% isn’t terrible, but any time your loss rate is higher than your win rate, you are ineffective as a pass rusher. If Ogbah wants to develop, he needs to raise his win rate closer to 20%, or he will stay as the same player forever. His pressure rate was also underwhelming, at just 6.3%. Every edge rusher on the Chiefs except Tanoh Kpassagnon had a higher pressure rate than Ogbah. Since he lacks long speed, he can’t get around the edge well enough to get more pressure. Usually, the ball is thrown by the time he gets pressure.

Not all is terrible for Ogbah though. Ogbah gets many pass deflections, using his long arms to bat down balls. Also, he times his jumps well, and disrupts the quarterback’s eyes. That is why Cleveland had him play so much; his pass deflections were valuable. Still, even though he is a great athlete with long arms, he lacks a rush plan, and doesn’t play with great effort. Defensive line coach Brendan Daly has a lot of work to do with Ogbah, to get the most effort and production out of him. He has to develop secondary moves.

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The Film

This is textbook Ogbah. Great first step to get some power, than just straight bull rush into the quarterback. Ogbah plays with great power, but unlike Alex Okafor, compliments it with a first step. I will say it again, Okafor has elite athleticism for a guy at his size. Just needs more developing.

Ogbah sets a very good edge. The Ravens are sending a seal block at Ogbah, but he recognizes the play coming quickly. He lowers his hips and shoulders, and keeps his balance while setting an edge. The quarterback has to run between him and the defensive tackle, and Ogbah collects a stuff. Very impressive stuff.

This is what I mean by a lack of a rush plan. Even though he has a good first step, he doesn’t have a rush plan at all. He doesn’t have enough speed to bend, so if he has no plans to use his hands, he gets locked up too many snaps to be effective. All he has in his arsenal is a bull rush. The Chiefs need to coach him up on developing some more moves, or he will have a hard time playing third downs in our rotation of good defensive lineman.

Will Ogbah be a starter? What role does he play?

Before starting my review, I always thought Ogbah would be a rotation piece. I suspected Alex Okafor would be guaranteed a roster spot, and Ogbah would be his backup. I think it is much more of a competition now to see who starts. Ogbah is good enough as a run defender to start for his team. His ability to set an edge and read plays is valuable, and would compliment Frank Clark very well in our rotation.

Another key aspect to Ogbah’s game is his ability to line up anywhere on the defensive line. Over my time charting, Ogbah was lined up in 10 different spots, while also being a stand up rusher in nearly every technique. The Browns used that to their advantage, and made their rush plans very effective using his versatility. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo craves that type of ability, and will find many ways to move Ogbah around for his stunts and blitzes.

Ogbah has a clear defined role with this team; he won’t have trouble finding snaps on this team. It makes perfect sense why Brett Veach traded for Ogbah, but he does have question marks. Will he develop a rush plan? Can he play with 100% effort every snap? There is a reason why the Browns traded him. Ogbah’s tape wasn’t that great last year. That being said, he is good enough as a run defender and versatile enough as a pass rusher to make an impact next year. Ogbah’s addition could bring the Chiefs closer to a Super Bowl.


Nate Christensen covers the NFL and the Kansas City Chiefs for Fan Source. Follow him on Twitter @natech479.

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