One of the Michigan Wolverines’ most talented defenders will be playing in the NFL this fall, as linebacker David Ojabo declared for the draft on Tuesday.
Ojabo is coming off a breakout year with the Wolverines, putting up some impressive statistics (33 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles, three pass deflections and one fumble recovery) along the way to a Big Ten Championship and a CFP appearance.
It’s going to be hard to replace a guy who will likely be a first round pick, but the Wolverines have a couple players who will try to have a breakout season of their own next year.
Jaylen Harrell (15 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss last season) is the most likely candidate to take Ojabo’s starting spot on defense. As Andrew Bailey broke down for us, he was a key rotational player last season who made the most of his time on the field. He was especially key to the win against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship, as the Tampa native had four total tackles, including a tackle for loss.
Another candidate to replace Ojabo’s production is 2021 four-star defensive linemen signee Derrick Moore. The Baltimore native was originally committed to Oklahoma, but decommitted when Lincoln Riley left for USC. After that, he signed with Michigan during the Early Signing Period last month and is an early enrollee.
Moore was recently named MVP of the Under Armour All-America Game, showcasing his size, speed and great use of hands against opposing linemen in the outing.
Michigan signee Derrick Moore cannot be stopped 〽️— SportsCenter NEXT (@SCNext) January 2, 2022
The @SFAfootball_MD senior is honoring his teammate Aaron Wilson by wearing #8 today. @UANextFootball l @CraigHaubert pic.twitter.com/MhV0dMNyLe
Ojabo’s a talented player who may be hard to replace right away, but Harrell and Moore seem like the most likely candidates to try to mimic his production. Michigan fans should be excited to see how savvy defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald plans on using them in 2022.