My Favorite Players in the 2023 NFL Draft: DT Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern

| April 18th, 2023

From Lance Zierlein at NFL.com:


Adebawore seems like a positional tweener, checking in a little short for the edge and a little light for the interior. However, he was able to handle himself at the point of attack at the Senior Bowl and is just a few hearty meals away from checking in at a weight that could pass for an even front three-technique. He’s a powerful man who wins with force over fluidity. He will need better play recognition in the future, but his explosive first contact and ability to play under his opponent’s pads could earn him a spot as a base end with sub-package rush ability or simply as a rotational interior defender.


  • Engages blockers with proper pad level.
  • Good explosiveness in upper and lower body.
  • Quick to cross-face tackles and make plays in the B-gap.
  • Rapid punch-and-release move to slip past blockers.
  • Rush movements are subtle but effective in getting to blocker’s edge.
  • Uses leverage and hip strength to press through redirect blocks.


  • Lacks prototypical height and length of a defensive end.
  • Too caught up in playing the block rather than discarding it.
  • Below average awareness and instincts.
  • Pursuit burst to the sideline is just average.
  • Too many missed tackles.
  • Tight hips restrict ability to slide wide and improve pass-rush angles.
  • Offensive tackles with length and strong hands derail his rush plans quickly.

My Take: The criticism of Adebawore seems to be focused on his playing outside, and that’s simply not how he’ll project in the NFL. He can be seriously disruptive inside if he’s in the right defensive structure.