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Broncos roster review: Cornerback Michael Ojemudia

Will the 3rd year pro pick-up where he left off at the end of his injury-shortened 2021 season?

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the 2020 draft the Denver Broncos used the 77th overall pick to take Iowa cornerback, Michael Ojemudia. Because of injuries Ojemudia was forced into a starting role and started eleven regular season games while appearing in all sixteen. The Broncos played ten different cornerbacks on defense in 2020 (eleven if you count Will Parks who was a S/CB) because of injury.

  1. Bryce Callahan
  2. Michael Ojemudia
  3. Essang Bassey
  4. A.J. Bouye
  5. Davontae Harris
  6. De’Vante Bausby
  7. Kevin Toliver
  8. Nate Hairston
  9. Parnell Motley
  10. Duke Dawson
  11. *Will Parks

Michael Ojemudia

Experience: 3 years
Height: 6-1
Age: 24
Weight: 200 lbs
College: Iowa

Despite being a rookie in 2020, Ojemudia logged the most snaps at CB for the Broncos (852).

PFR shows that Ojemudia allowed a passer rating of 103.2 as a rookie. The receiver he was covering was targetted often (88 times - highest on the team). Michael allowed 54 catches for 815 yards and three touchdowns on those targets. His passer rating allowed as a rookie was one of the better values for our defensive backs that season. Here’s the ugly numbers from that MASH unit that was our 2020 secondary

Rank Player Int Tgt Cmp Cmp% Yds Yds/Cmp Yds/Tgt TD Rat DADOT Air YAC
1 Bryce Callahan 2 57 31 54% 205 6.6 3.6 0 47.8 10.1 148 57
2 Kareem Jackson 1 48 31 65% 278 9.0 5.8 2 85.2 7.4 122 156
3 Essang Bassey 1 22 18 82% 188 10.4 8.5 1 98.5 8.7 114 74
4 Justin Simmons* 5 54 42 78% 447 10.6 8.3 7 102.2 8.6 288 159
5 Michael Ojemudia 0 88 54 61% 815 15.1 9.3 3 103.2 11.5 576 239
6 Alijah Holder 0 7 5 71% 70 14.0 10.0 0 103.3 4.7 28 42
7 De'Vante Bausby 0 36 25 69% 313 12.5 8.7 1 105.4 11.2 201 112
8 A.J. Bouye 0 35 23 66% 273 11.9 7.8 2 108.4 10.7 170 103
9 Bradley Chubb* 0 6 5 83% 61 12.2 10.2 0 109.0 2.2 14 47
10 Duke Dawson 0 4 0 0% 44 11.0 1 112.5 15.3 36 8
11 Trey Marshall 0 1 1 100% 11 11.0 11.0 0 112.5 2.0 2 9
12 Kevin Toliver 0 2 2 100% 24 12.0 12.0 0 116.7 11.0 22 2
13 Will Parks 0 20 16 80% 165 10.3 8.3 1 117.7 6.3 103 62
14 Parnell Motley 0 11 7 64% 118 16.9 10.7 1 130.1 16.1 103 15

While MO’s numbers were not great, he was still one of the better defensive backs on the team in 2020. Only Bryce Callahan, Kareem Jackson, Essang Bassey and Justin Simmons had a better PR allowed that year.

The injury bug that MO avoided in 2020 hit him hard in 2021. MO only played in two games - starting one (week 18 vs KC). When he was on the field in 2021 he was good. He improved him PFF rating from 48.7 to 77.1, but I don’t know how much of that was sample size (85 defensive snaps for him in 2021).

His better numbers in 2021 could have been a result of him getting better as a player during his second NFL season, or they could have been a result of him having to cover lesser receivers. Many games during 2020 saw him covering the other team’s WR1 or WR2. In 2021 MO only played 10 snaps on defense in week 17 against the Chargers before playing the whole game the next week (75 snaps). MO was CB2 or CB3 in that game as Bryce Callahan got 78 snaps and Kyle Fuller got 72. No other CB got defensive snaps for the Broncos in that game (PS2 had already been shut down for the season).

In 85 defensive snaps MO allowed a passer rating of 61.4. The only Bronco DB with a “better” number in 2021 was Patrick Surtain (61.3 - so they were equally as good by passer rating allowed).

What role will Ojemudia play on the 2022 Broncos?

On the ourlads.com Bronco depth chart MO is currently listed as the backup left CB behind PS2. The starter at RCB is listed as Ronald Darby and the starter at nickle CB is listed as K’Waun Williams. As it stands right now, Ojemudia is CB4 or CB5, but he is also a draft pick of the previous coaching staff who took two CBs in the 2022 draft - Damarri Mathis in the 4th and Faion Hicks in the 7th. Mathis could easily move up to CB4 and push MO down the depth chart. Both CBs like to play physical in the run game, but Matthis has more straight-line speed than MO. Matthis ran a 4.39 40 at the combine making him arguably the fastest guy on the Bronco roster.

Poll

Assuming Ojemudia makes the 53-man roster, how many defensive snaps does he play this year?

  • 3%
    1000 or more (full-time starter)
    (18 votes)
  • 23%
    750-1000 (CB3)
    (121 votes)
  • 47%
    500-750 (CB4)
    (247 votes)
  • 20%
    250-500 (CB5)
    (104 votes)
  • 5%
    less than 250 (end of the bench or hurt)
    (29 votes)
519 votes total Vote Now