May 22, 2024

Fifth year senior, three-year starter. Lagos, Nigeria. Orhorhoro played just two years of high school football after arriving to America as a nine-year old. He was actually a better basketball player early on. Clemson took a chance on the raw 265 pounder and after barely seeing the field in both 2019 and 2020, he stepped up in a big way when Bryan Bresee got injured in 2021. He turned himself into a consistent, steady interior player capable of taking on the dirty work. His ability to play wide and low with immense staying power and surprising quickness can put him into multiple roles within multiple schemes. Orhorhoro has some of the best hand strength you will find, as he constantly wins the lockout battle over and over. The stutter step quickness and ability to adjust late to a blocker will get him into the backfield occasionally and he has a knack for finishing (8 tackles for loss each of the last three years). This is an every down, starting caliber lineman that will be dependable play to play with some more upside to chew off since he is still relatively new to the game. Orhorhoro is a the kind of prospect a team can feel both safe about and intrigued by when it comes to the floor-ceiling ratio.

*If you asked me in the fall who would end up as the top DT grade in the class, I would have all but guaranteed it to be one of the two guys below. Orhorhoro has a Dalvin Tomlinson-type feel to his game in that he is going to be NFL-ready week one. His play strength is immense. I had the opportunity to speak with multiple ACC offensive linemen over the past three years and I always ask who the top guy is they’ve ever played against. Ruke’s name came up more often than anyone. They said he was the strongest guy that had to match up against. The difference between him and Tomlinson is two-fold. Ruke is still new to the game. He is very inexperienced compared to most prospects despite starting 30 games in college. Second, Ruke is one of the best athletes to ever test at the combine. He absolutely dominated the position drills and testing. There is something about this kid I am drawn to. I will get into the DT group in relation to NYG at the end, but this is someone I am looking at hard in round two if he is still there. He makes sense from every angle.

2) Jer’Zhan Newton – Illinois – 6’3 / 296

Grade: 82

Three-year starter. Three-time All-Big Ten, first team in 2023 and 2022, and two-time All-American, first team in 2023. Newton was a high school running back and basketball star. That kind of athletic ability shows up along the interior, a spot he is usually matched up against bigger, slower offensive linemen. His style of play fits into the prototypical three-technique role that has him shoot a single gap and create havoc in the backfield. His ability to play low and quick can be a headache for blockers to deal with. While Newton rarely left the field in college, his lack of stoutness and ability to hold the point may prevent him from being a true every down player. He is best suited for a defensive line that goes overkill in rotations. He proved he can stay on the field as much as any prospect that plays up front in the class but if a defense can take away the negative plays he has against the gap-controlled running plays, his contributions can rival what the stars of the NFL produce. Newton will need the right situation to reach his ceiling and even though there is some “home run or strikeout” in his game, he will at least make impact plays for the defense weekly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *