One of the 2022 NFL Draft's top prospects is facing a long road to recovery.
An MRI revealed Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo -- rated as the No. 18 prospect available this year by NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah -- suffered a torn Achilles at the Wolverines' pro day on Friday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday morning. Ojabo sustained the injury while performing a pass-coverage drill. NFL Network's Jeffri Chadiha, who was covering the event, reported the 6-foot-4, 250-pounder fell to the ground clutching his left leg and had to be helped off the field.
It's a major blow for the 21-year-old, who is coming off a breakthrough season for UM that had put him in position to be selected in the first round. While his stock is now in question due to the injury, Ojabo took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to deliver a positive message about his future.
Ojabo is expected to begin the season on the physically unable to perform list, but could play during the second half of the season, per Rapoport. Such an injury often sidelines a player for several months, if not longer, although Rams running back Cam Akers returned in less than six months after tearing his Achilles last summer.
Ojabo elected to enter the draft as an underclassman in January after posting 11 sacks and a Michigan single-season record five forced fumbles in his first season as a starter. Playing alongside Heisman Trophy runner-up Aidan Hutchinson, who is a leading candidate to be drafted first overall this year, the two edge rushers helped fuel the team's run to a Big Ten title and its first berth in the College Football Playoff.
"That was tough to see him go down like that," Hutchinson told Chadiha after completing his pro-day workout. "Not quite sure what's going on with him right now because I've been in the whole interview circuit, but I'm definitely going to go see him. Been praying for him. It's always tough to see a teammate and close friend go down like that."
All 32 NFL teams sent at least one representative to the UM pro day, per Chadiha. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Texans head coach Lovie Smith were among the attendees Friday. Ojabo will begin his recovery with the 2022 draft less than six weeks away (April 28-30 in Las Vegas).