BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns got a leg up in the evaluation process for the 2017 NFL Draft by serving as a coaching staff in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama back in January.
That week-long experience in Mobile allowed the Browns to get an up-close view of players not only on the field, but also, how they handle the stresses of being pulled into interviews during the evening hours after a full day of meetings and practice.
And the Browns liked what they saw in former University of North Carolina-Charlotte defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi, whom they selected in the third round last month.
“The Senior Bowl was really valuable,” Ogunjobi told the Cleveland media shortly after getting drafted. “You are able to go against some of the best competition in the country. The coaches, I just really talked to them. I didn’t know they liked me that much, but when you get the phone call, you answer it and there you are. I am just excited for the opportunity. I can’t thank God enough.”
In 24 games over two years at UNC-Charlotte, the 6-foot-3, 297-pound Ogunjobi registered 127 total tackles, including 68 solo stops and 59 assists. Of those 127 total tackles, 29 went for lost yardage, including 5.5 quarterback sacks.
During his first season with the 49ers, Ogunjobi totaled 37 solo stops, 25 assists and 62 total tackles, including 15.5 for lost yardage with 2.5 sacks. As a follow-up in 2016, Ogunjobi registered 65 total tackles, including 31 solo stops, 34 assists, 13.5 for lost yardage and three sacks.
The total tackles, assists and sacks were single-season personal bests for Ogunjobi at UNC-Charlotte.
Additionally, Ogunjobi defended two passes during the 2016 season.
When the Browns made the call to select Ogunjobi, he became the first former UNC-Charlotte player ever selected in the NFL Draft.
“I am a really hard worker,” Ogunjobi said. “My first step, my lateral quickness, the ability to get off the ball and get on the offensive linemen really quickly, that is where I think my game really separates itself from other people.
“I feel like playing that three technique -- I think that is where they want me at -- to really make those guards work and all the guys on the edge. They just got Myles (Garrett) and you have Danny (Shelton) in the middle. Just really being a factor and making plays.”