Broncos rookie Michael Ojemudia’s goal for final three games: Prove he’s on track to becoming franchise cornerback 20-1

Michael Ojemudia, riding full-speed on a rookie roller-coaster, has three games left to prove he’s on track to becoming the franchise cornerback the Broncos hoped they selected in last spring’s NFL draft.

The Broncos have seen the good from the 23-year-old via six pass break-ups and two forced fumbles. They’ve also seen the bad, which includes three TDs given up, including two in Week 2, as well as three missed tackles and a score yielded in an ugly performance in Week 9, which led to a benching.

“(The final three-week stretch) is definitely going to be a great opportunity, especially with our backs against the wall and near nobody left (available to play cornerback),” Ojemudia said. “You’ve got to be accountable in these last couple of weeks. I talk to (fellow starting cornerback De’Vante) Bausby a lot about that and he’s been a mentor for me. So, just showing what you’re made of these last couple weeks is definitely going to be good to do going into next season.”

Ojemudia’s impact in training camp was limited due to a quad injury, but the third-round pick saw serious action in Week 1 against Tennessee after A.J. Bouye went down with a shoulder injury in the first half. It’s been baptism-by-fire in the 13 games since, especially after his benching following his poor game against the Falcons on Nov. 8.

He didn’t play defensively the next two weeks, but recently, Bouye’s suspension for a PED violation, as well as injuries to Bryce Callahan (foot, on injured reserve) and Kevin Tolliver (knee, out for season), pushed Ojemudia back into the lineup. He played every defensive snap against the Chiefs and the Panthers the past two weeks.

“Whether I was either playing or not, I was always learning every week,” Ojemudia said. “I went to Vic (Fangio’s) office and he just talked to me and said, ‘Your opportunity is going to come faster than you think, so just be ready.’ Every week I’m trying to learn and get better at at least one thing.”

In that meeting that came after Ojemudia’s benching, Fangio also told Ojemudia that he knows what kind of player he can be, a vote of confidence that meant a lot to a rookie.

“I see a little bit more confidence in him right now,” Fangio said. “I do think the couple of weeks where he didn’t play or played sparingly kind of helped him a little bit potentially. Again, he’s another one of the young players I’d like to see really come alive and play good and keep improving in this last (three weeks) of the season.”

Ojemudia and Bausby — who’s his second stint with the team this year after being claimed off waivers from Arizona on Nov. 10 — face their latest litmus test Saturday in containing wideouts Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley on a high-powered Bills passing attack led by quarterback Josh Allen.

Buffalo ranks third in passing yards per game at 272.8.  With rookie Essang Bassey sidelined for the rest of the year with a knee injury, Will Parks (who re-debuted as a Bronco last week after being claimed off waivers from Philadelphia) will be the unit’s starting nickel back.

“You know that (Allen) has a rocket of an arm, but at the same time you got to be aggressive for the shorter things because those can turn into big plays (with the Bills),” Ojemudia said. “You’re definitely going to have to be tight on your man, deep or short. I think protecting that bomb is going to be a focus of this week.”

dp sports?d=yIl2AUoC8zA - Broncos rookie Michael Ojemudia’s goal for final three games: Prove he’s on track to becoming franchise cornerback 20-1 dp sports?i=nbJqmkRurz4:PJLI BqlMrU:F7zBnMyn0Lo - Broncos rookie Michael Ojemudia’s goal for final three games: Prove he’s on track to becoming franchise cornerback 20-1 dp sports?d=qj6IDK7rITs - Broncos rookie Michael Ojemudia’s goal for final three games: Prove he’s on track to becoming franchise cornerback 20-1 dp sports?i=nbJqmkRurz4:PJLI BqlMrU:V sGLiPBpWU - Broncos rookie Michael Ojemudia’s goal for final three games: Prove he’s on track to becoming franchise cornerback 20-1

nbJqmkRurz4 - Broncos rookie Michael Ojemudia’s goal for final three games: Prove he’s on track to becoming franchise cornerback 20-1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.