by Ryan Myers
Photo courtesy of Alamy.
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 - Duke, DE, RJ Oben
Name - RJ Oben
Pos - DE
Team - Duke
HT/WT - 6’4” 260 lbs.
Born - 06/17/2001
Home - Montclair, NJ
RJ Oben played his high school football at Saint Peter’s High School. In his senior season with Saint Peter’s, he tallied 28 tackles including 5 sacks and was rated as a 3-star recruit by 247Sports, Rivals.com, and ESPN. He chose Duke over several other power 5 and group of 5 offers.
Over his first two seasons at Duke, Oben played in 15 games and recorded 5 tackles in limited snaps. He played four games of his freshman season before having a season-ending shoulder injury which required surgery. But over the next two years with the Blue Devils, Oben started 22 of 25 games recording 45 tackles, 13.5 TFL, and 9.5 sacks. He also forced 5 fumbles and had one interception. So far this season as the Blue Devils’ returning leader of the defense, Oben has started in all 9 games recording 10 tackles, 2.5 TFL, and 2.5 sacks.
Oben is a speedy and versatile DE with an athletic build and good length for the position. On the rush, Oben’s “quicks” allow him to swim around blocks often and combined with his reliable tackling, he’s both a quality run-stopper and pass rusher. He’s effective in chasing down ball-carriers and his raw athletic ability makes it possible for him to be used as an outside linebacker at the next level. NFL defenses will be able to plug him in at edge and OLB, and switch up looks for their defense.
Oben’s a bit undersized for the NFL defensive end position and lacks the ideal strength to consistently fight through blocks by NFL offensive linemen. He does play low to the ground and uses as much leverage as possible, but he definitely has some room to add mass and width to his frame in order to be more effective in block-shedding.
Below Average Size
RJ Oben uses his speed and good mechanics to effect and has plenty of room to grow into his frame, which will make him more effective at the next level. He’s a work in progress with the talent to succeed as he matures into a pro player.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 6th round or 7th round