by Zachary Somma
Photo courtesy of Oregon State Athletics.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Oregon State, Safety, Kitan Oladapo
Name- Kitan Oladapo
Team- Oregon State
HT/WT- 6’1” 217 lbs.
Home- Happy Valley, Oregon
Oregon State Safety Kitan Oladapo is heading into his 6th and final season of college football. After redshirting his 2018 year, he saw the field sparingly during 2019 and 2020 before becoming a full-time starter for the Beavers over the past 3 seasons. During this time, Oladapo has been an “every down” player and utilized in a variety of roles across the defense. While he gets most of his use as a deep zone safety (usually over the middle of the field), Oladapo is also used in the slot and in the box. Athletically, Oladapo has adequate overall speed and play strength, and the stamina to keep his pace up late into games.
In 2022, Oladapo played 285 snaps at free safety, 268 in the box, and 192 in the slot per PFF. While that variety of usage is not uncommon to see in safeties, Oladapo plays each of these areas to at least an above average level, although he doesn’t play any of them to an elite level either.
As a deep free safety, Oladapo has good feet and can drop quickly into his zone. While occasionally his burst is a bit lacking, he takes long strides and can cover a lot of ground quickly. He will make the correct read most of the time, but will make mistakes in zone coverage at times. Despite having good recovery speed, crafty route runners can still create space against Oladapo down the field, and he will give up the occasional big play.
His ball tracking in the air is on par with most NFL safeties, aided a lot by his lanky frame and big wingspan. He will rally quickly to the ball carrier on runs or underneath routes, and is a willing and dependable tackler out in space. Oladapo can struggle in man coverage thanks to a bit of stiffness, something that shows up when he’s aligned in the slot. But again, his athletic ability can bail him out of situations in man coverage, even when he gets beat.
But maybe his most underrated position is when he plays inside the box, either as an extra LB or as an edge rusher. Oladapo is a solid run defender and will get physical in the box when trying to make a tackle. His speed allows him to blanket most TEs and RBs in the short and intermediate areas of the field.
Though he doesn’t get the opportunity often, Oladapo is a dangerous threat as a pass rusher. Despite only 29 true pass rush snaps last season, he recorded 11 pressures, 3 sacks and led all safeties in QB hits with 5. He routinely can make RBs look silly in pass protection and has some surprising finesse and has a basic package of rush moves to create pressure.
So far in 2023, Oladapo already has 9 pass rush snaps and 4 pressures and a sack to show for it. By no means should he make the switch to edge rusher, but his versatility and utility in this limited role is impressive to say the least. Oladapo also is a valuable special teams player for the Beavers, a role which he could very easily slide himself into for an NFL team come next season.
- Rangy and Athletic
- Willing Tackler
- High Motor
- Special Teams Upside
- Average Coverage Instinct
- Questionable Ball Skills
- Play Strength
Overall, Kitan Oladapo is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, master of none type of player. He has the athleticism and range to play over the top and in the slot but can struggle with his coverage instincts. He can be a good run defender in the box and has some shockingly good pass rush prowess, but he can be overpowered by linemen and TEs. Whether a starting job is in the cards for him in the NFL is to be determined, but Oladapo has enough of a varied skill set and good traits that should allow him to carve out some sort of role at the next level, even if it’s in a limited capacity.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - Round 5-6