The Cleveland Browns added five players to the roster on Sunday via waivers, including defensive tackle Ifeadi Odenigbo.
A seventh-round selection by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2017 NFL Draft, Odenigbo spent his rookie season on the Vikings practice squad. He led the Big Ten in sacks with 10 as a senior at Northwestern, and finished his collegiate career with 23.5 sacks, good for second on the school’s all-time list.
The Vikings originally tried him at defensive end, but he spent training camp and the preseason playing at defensive tackle. The Minnesota coaches believed the switch was the best for the 6-foot-3 and 275-pound Odenigbo, but the move took some adjusting to, as Odenigbo told twincities.com:
“It’s a lot quicker. That’s been quite a bit of an adjustment. I feel like the key thing about it is just getting my pads low and my hand placement has to be perfect. I’m a little undersized, so I’ve got to use my quickness to make a difference.
“Those fundamentals are pretty new to me. Like having over 600 pounds on my back (on a double team). That’s been quite a bit of an adjustment. It’s a little tighter of a window; there’s not all that air. And then there’s all the hand movements. All of that is new to me.”
Odenigbo spent time in the preseason with the Vikings second-team defense, recording 11 tackles and two sacks, and was a bit of a surprise cut by Minnesota. He joins defensive lineman Devaroe Lawrence, acquired in a trade on Saturday from the New Orleans Saints, and Carl Davis, claimed off waivers on Sunday from the Baltimore Ravens, in the rebuilt interior of the Browns defensive line.
With the release of Jamie Meder and Caleb Brantley, those three will be battling for playing time behind starters Larry Ogunjobi and Trevon Coley.