#92, Remi Ayodele, DT
(6026, 318, 5.10-5.22) Oklahoma
Notes: Born Remilekun Ayodele, 4/22/83, in Grand Prairie, Texas, where he attended South Grand Prairie High School, he is of Nigerian descent. Younger brother of NFL linebacker Akin Ayodele (Cowboys, Dolphins, Broncos, Bills). Has a t-shirt and sportswear company, Wierdoz. Battled his way up through the ranks from a rookie free agent, NFL Europe player to NFL practice squad and eventually a full-time starter and Super Bowl champion.
College: Began his college career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M before transferring to Oklahoma, where he was part of the team's rotation at defensive tackle from 2004-05. As a senior (2005), he started six games and finished with 11 tackles, six tackles-for-loss, one sack and a fumble recovery. Majored in sociology.
Pre-Draft: Measured 6026 (6-2¾), 300 pounds…bench-pressed 28 reps at 225 pounds…4.97-5.12 40-yard dash…32-inch vertical jump…9-8 broad jump…4.52 short shuttle…7.96 three-cone drill.
Pro: Undrafted, he originally signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots (subsequently released), then the Baltimore Ravens (subsequently released), and then to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad in 2006. Released by the Cowboys in the summer of 2007, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons, only to be released prior to the start of the season. He was immediately re-signed by the Cowboys, who needed depth behind Jay Ratliff after Jason Ferguson suffered a season-ending injury. He played in seven games, recording five tackles and one forced fumble, but was released after the season.
He signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2008, spent time on their practice squad but saw action in six games, recording three tackles. Ayodele really emerged in 2009, as he started 13 of 15 games, taking over for Kendrick Clancy; collected 30 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He also played well in the playoffs, recovering a fumble and knocking Minnesota's Brett Favre down hard in the NFC Championship Game with a powerful hit. Re-signed as a restricted free agent, he agreed to a one-year, $1.101 million contract and started all 16 games for the Saints last season (2010), with 37 tackles, one sack, one pass deflection and one forced fumble.
Ayodele signed a reported three-year contract, $9-million contract with the Vikings on July 28, 2011.
Positives: Well-suited for an attacking, penetrating style of play and can penetrate the gap and disrupt plays in the backfield. Has gotten stronger and stronger and become more stout against the run. Hustles in pursuit and will chase plays downfield and make tackles well outside the box. Gets some initial push as a pass rusher. Good locker-room guy who is well-liked by teammates.
Negatives: Does not provide much in the way of pure upfield speed and natural pass-rush pressure. More a self-made player than a gifted natural athlete.
Summary: Ayodele is a prototypical nose tackle to play in the Vikings' scheme, where his job will be to penetrate gaps, occupy blockers and clog the inside running lanes. At 28, he is 10 years younger than Pat Williams. He might not be the massive run stuffer, but he should provide a similar presence and probably a bit more stamina over the course of games.
Scout's Notebook: DT Remi Ayodele
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