INDIANAPOLIS – When Dayo Odeyingbo looks at himself on film from last year, he sees the physical limitations in his game.
And to be fair, those were expected as Odeyingbo made his NFL debut less than a year removed from tearing his Achilles.
In particular, Odeyingbo saw his flexibility and explosiveness not at the levels he expects, and believes will be there for him in 2022 and beyond.
Odeyingbo made his NFL debut on Halloween last year, about 9 months removed from suffering that serious injury.
As a rotational defensive lineman, Odeyingbo had 6 tackles in 173 defensive snaps.
“I kind of got more comfortable towards the end of the year, but it was definitely a growing process coming into the year with no offseason, no camp and coming in off the injury trying to figure everything out,” Odeyingbo says in looking back on his first NFL season.
“But towards the end of the year I started to get more comfortable, but definitely through this offseason I’ve made a lot of progress with my Achilles and just my body in general. So, I’m really excited for this season.”
Calling Odeyingbo a favorite of Chris Ballard doesn’t do it justice on how the Colts GM views their second-round pick from 2021.
Ballard, who is always a fan of adding to the defensive line, gushed over the 6-7, 276-pound Odeyingbo throughout the draft process.
In Odeyingbo, the Colts hope they have a piece similar to one that helped make the New York Giants have one of the more formidable defensive line in their Super Bowl runs a decade ago.
Odeyingbo has the size and athleticism to impact the game at a number of different spots along the defensive line.
A definite starting job for him in 2022 isn’t there, but he should provide important and necessary depth behind the likes of Yannick Ngakoue, Kwity Paye, DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart.
Always the thought with Odeyingbo was ‘let’s see what he looks like in 2022.’
Well, that year is here, and it sounds like he feels much, much different than he did entering his first NFL season.
“At a certain point you’re healthy enough to play but you don’t necessarily feel better,” Odeyingbo says in looking back on last year. “So you may be able to run around and do everything on it, but the rest of your body is still catching up and kind of getting rid of some of the compensation you made up while you were being injured for however many months.
“So, definitely over the last year I’ve made strides. Even in the last few months, continuing to make strides every day.”
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