John Elway and Vic Fangio took a huge gamble by selecting receivers with each of their top two picks, and by doing so, passed up a strong cornerback class despite their pressing need at the position.

With their third pick, the Broncos finally addressed that need by pushing all their chips to the center of the table and selecting Iowa’s Michael Ojemudia, a very talented, but raw prospect.

That raises the question, can the Broncos rely on Ojemudia as their No. 3 cornerback in Year 1, or will he need time to develop?


It’s obvious why Fangio and Elway fell in love with Michael Ojemudia, he fits Denver’s head coach’s scheme so well, and they don’t make many like him.

Ojemudia looks like what Fangio dreams his cornerbacks would look like. He stands at 6’1”, 200 pounds, with lanky 32.5-inch arms and he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds. Not only does he match Fangio’s athletic profile, but Ojemudia fits his mental profile for a cornerback as well, as he’s a good tackler who makes his presence known in the run game.

Versatility, another one of Fangio’s must-haves, is also one of Ojemudia’s strong suits. His skillset makes you think he should be able to play safety, and his head coach at Iowa said they would’ve played him there had they not needed him so badly at cornerback. In other words, he should be able to fill the void left in Will Parks’ wake from day one.


Ojemudia does make plays in the run game, and he is more physical than most cornerbacks in this draft, but you’d still like to see him play with his hair on fire a bit more. There are opportunities for him to make even more plays in the run game, but sometimes he doesn’t make them because the effort isn’t there on his end.

Also, while Ojemudia is fairly adept in zone coverage — especially for a mid-third-round pick —  his man coverage ability leaves a lot to be desired, though he rarely played it at Iowa.

Crisp route runners gave him fits, which means the Jeudy vs. Ojemudia training camp battle will be fairly one-sided. Also, he had a very hard time tracking the ball in the air, which is why his ball production is relatively low for how many times he was targeted.


As far as traits and athleticism are concerned, Michael Ojemudia is a picture-perfect Vic Fangio cornerback. He also has an incredible amount of untapped potential and should help replace Parks, so you can’t hate the pick too much.

That being said, the Broncos need a cornerback that can start and make an impact from day one opposite of A.J. Bouye with Bryce Callahan and Michael Ojemudia isn’t that guy and they probably could’ve gotten him later in the draft.

Draft pick grade: C+

Player Comparison: Jason McCourty