The Cleveland Browns in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft drafted Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Although he was not drafted until the seventh round, he was originally projected as a round one or early round two projection. As happened with Myles Jack and Jaylon Smith in this year’s draft, Ekpre-Olomu’s fall was due to injury as well. During the 2014 season at Oregon, Ekpre-Olomu suffered a severe knee injury during a Duck’s practice which caused him to miss the remainder of his senior season. At that point in time, Ekpre-Olomu was already a promising star at cornerback for the Ducks and had already received numerous All-American team spots on top of being a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award; which is given to the country’s top defensive back. Before his sudden injury, Ekpre-Olomu had accounted for 63 solo tackles, 2 interceptions, and 6 pass breakups. In my opinion, when you compare this year’s round two draft pick Xavien Howard to Ifo Ekpre-Olomu I would say Ekpre-Olomu is the better and more dependable defensive back. Ekpre-Olomu does not have the size Xavien does standing at only 5’9”, but his intensity and ball skills surely make up for it; not to mention he has great tackling skills.
If you have been watching the Dolphins as long as I have, you are probably well aware of our tackling issues across the defensive board. During the time of the draft, Mark Dulgerian spoke about Ekpre-Olomu saying, “Under no other circumstance should this player have fallen this far in the draft other than considerable concerns over the knee he shredded…. He’s smaller than ideal to play on the perimeter but he’s tough as nails and plays with an edge.” That sounds not only like my type of player, but Vance Joseph’s type of player as well. After the Cleveland Browns decided to let him go a few months ago, it was less than a day before multiple teams were attempting to gain Ekpre-Olomu’s services; lucky for us, the Miami Dolphins beat everyone else to the punch. All this while still not knowing for sure if Ekpre-Olomu would even be able to play. Obviously teams were still well-aware of his attributes. Signing a player of his value at such a low cost is a must.
Now after sitting his entire rookie season on the bench of Cleveland, Ekpre-Olomu finally will have his chance to fight for a starting role in South Florida with the Miami Dolphins. Just last week Ekpre-Olomu received full medical clearance to play. This means he will be able to fully participate in drills today during Miami’s first day of OTAs. After his clearance, Mike Tannenbaum said of Ekpre-Olomu, “ (We’re) Excited to see what he can do…. He’s done everything we’ve asked so far.” I must admit, I am excited to see what he can do as well. After a promising start to his senior season in 2014, now two years later, we will finally be able to see what this young man can accomplish at the NFL level. Remember his name Phins fans!