Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT, Northwestern | NFL Draft Scouting Report

With his scouting report, Northwestern DT Adetomiwa Adebawore might legitimately be one of the best, most dynamic defensive linemen in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Northwestern DT Adetomiwa Adebawore once was the best defensive lineman you’d never heard of. But odds are, you’ve heard of him now. Adebawore’s stock is soaring after a dominant Senior Bowl showing, and his 2023 NFL Draft scouting report speaks of undeniable upside at the next level.

Adetomiwa Adebawore NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Defensive lineman
  • School: Northwestern
  • Current year: Senior
  • Height/Weight: 6’1 5/8″, 284 pounds
  • Length: 34″
  • Wingspan: 82 1/8″
  • Hand: 10 7/8″

Adebawore hasn’t always commanded the spotlight, but his breakout as a legitimate 2023 NFL Draft prospect was a long time coming. He put up eye-popping testing numbers as a three-star recruit in 2019 and fielded offers from Ivy League schools.

By his second season at Northwestern, Adebawore was a regular contributor who logged two sacks and six tackles for loss. He logged All-Big Ten honors in both 2021 and 2022, amassing 9.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, four pass deflections, and four forced fumbles over that span.

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Production was a strong point for Adebawore late in his career, and somehow, his numbers don’t do justice to the impact he had on the field. It comes as no surprise. Adebawore is a rare mold of defensive lineman. This summer, he was documented as having a 37.5″ vertical, a 10’5″ broad jump, and a 6.9 three-cone time by Bruce Feldman.

All the indicators say Adebawore is destined to have a major impact in the NFL. But how exactly does he translate off the tape, and what will his best role be? That’s what we’re here to find out.

Adetomiwa Adebawore Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Possesses a quantifiably elite combination of natural leverage and proportional length.
  • Tremendously explosive athlete who can quickly open his hips and accelerate downhill.
  • Twitchy rusher at his size, who can both offset blockers and leverage twitch into power.
  • Explosiveness and proportional length combine to produce elite raw power capacity.
  • Flashes the ability to stack counters on the interior, such as a double swipe-rip.
  • Once extended, can torque and plow blockers back with urgent, devastating leg drive.
  • Can employ synergy on rushes and use euro-steps to give himself space while engaging.
  • Has the ankle flexion to corner blocks after getting a step with his burst and length.
  • Can violently stack and shed blocks, and envelops runners in pursuit with his wingspan.
  • Truly relentless competitor with a red-hot motor and outstanding urgency on the attack.

Areas for Improvement

  • Doesn’t quite have elite hand strength, sometimes struggling to break anchors inside.
  • Can be more consistent stacking counters on top of initial power exertions.
  • Occasionally extends too early and could be more efficient loading and unleashing.
  • At times, can better leverage his base into power exertions off the snap.
  • Frame is somewhat high-cut, which can cause him to align too far upright at contact.
  • Drifts upright too often after initial contact, and often has to reset before second efforts.
  • Can occasionally lose balance when attempting to splice around blocks with ankle flexion.
  • Has versatility between 5-tech and 1-tech, but translates best at 3-tech.

Northwestern DT Adetomiwa Adebawore Current Draft Projection

If you built a 3-tech in a lab, they would look like Adebawore, who grades as a top 50 prospect on my board and is worthy of consideration in the early Day 2 range. Additionally, after his dominant Senior Bowl showing, it’s not out of the question that he could be a surprise Round 1 pick.

Adebawore played on the edge on a sizable number of snaps in college, but he projects best on the interior in the NFL. At 284 pounds, he’s a little light for the middle, and that does show up at times. Still, for his size, Adebawore has elite explosiveness off the snap, elite proportional length, and can effortlessly forklift blockers with his natural leverage.

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Beyond his overwhelming combination of raw traits, Adebawore has a truly violent disposition as a pass rusher and run defender, with a motor that never rests. His pass-rushing arsenal, which is predicated on his elite power, translates better inside, where he unleashes downhill and builds off of initial exertions. He’s also shown levy swipe and rip combos as well, sporting clubs for hands.

Adebawore is a bit high-cut, which can limit his flexibility around the edge and impact his leverage management. He also has room to keep refining his hand usage and find more consistency with his counters. Nevertheless, Adebawore can function as an immediate disruptive presence as a 3-tech with alignment versatility. At his ceiling, he can be an impact starter.

Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report on Adetomiwa Adebawore

Strengths: Versatile defensive line prospect whose draft stock is soaring. Bends his knees, plays with terrific pad level, and consistently gets leverage on opponents. Fires off the snap with an explosive first step, works his hands throughout the action, and slides off blocks to make the tackle.

Agile, easily moves around the field, and possesses a closing burst. Quickly changes direction or immediately alters his angle of attack and plays through the whistle. Consistently focused on by opponents and creates opportunities for teammates. Plays the run as hard as he rushes the passer. Nimble, agile, and easily redirects to the action or ball handler.

Weaknesses: Lacks natural bulk and can be out-positioned from the action rather easily. Slow locating the ball.

Overall: Adebawore is an explosive, athletic defensive line prospect who offers possibilities at end or as a pass-rushing tackle. He displayed a lot of progress in his game over the past three seasons and had three spectacular days of practice at the Senior Bowl, where he was unstoppable. Adebawore has growth limitations, but his intensity, athleticism, and scheme versatility are very appealing.

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