Giants third-rounder Odighizuwa: I've been looking forward to playing 4-3 defensive end for a long time

Published May. 4, 2015 11:24 a.m. ET

When the New York Giants selected Owa Odighizuwa with the No. 74 overall pick, fans couldn't help but remember the last player they drafted in this exact same spot—Justin Tuck. Owa is an exception athlete at 6-foot-3 and 267 pounds with long arms, big hands and an explosive 4.59 40-yard dash.

Owa's athleticism is just one reason to believe there is untapped potential in him. Another great indicator is the defense and position that Owa is transitioning into. After playing as a down lineman in a 3-4 base defense, Owa will move to the defensive end spot in Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's 4-3 base defense. 

The two positions are very different, and Owa's new spot will allow him more one-on-one opportunities to rush the passer off the edge. Needless to say, Owa is very excited about this.

"I’m extremely excited," Owa told reporters on Friday. I’ve been waiting to be in this situation where I can just be a defensive end getting after the quarterback, playing physical against the run, just playing that traditional four down over, under defense. I’ve been looking forward to that for a very long time.

Despite the fact that he played as a down lineman in UCLA's 3-4 base defense, Owa's 56 combined sacks, quarterback hits, and hurries in 2014 were sixth-most among all draft eligible prospects, according to College Football Focus.

The Giants may have pulled off one of the draft's best overall values at any position by drafting the athletic freak out of UCLA with the production to back it up.

(h/t Big Blue Interactive)


Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/AP Images