NFL International Player Pathway spotlight: Adedayo Odeleye, DL, The UK

Last year, five of twelve players from the NFL International Pathway program found their way onto NFL teams achieving their pro football dreams. Adedayo Odeleye however, was one of the seven players who was ultimately turned away. Now, almost one year later, he stands on the brink of a second chance at the NFL.

The 6’5″, 265-pound Nigerian-born prospect was turned away last year for a few reasons, primarily because of his lack of on-field experience. The England-raised pass rusher played only a few games in the UK’s college football scene before attempting to make the leap to the NFL last spring.

The 24-year-old responded to the rejection by quickly signing with the Berlin Thunder of the European League of Football. Playing all over the defensive line, Odeleye lived in the opponent’s backfield racking up seven sacks in only eight games. In only his second year of football, Odeleye was named to AFI’s All Europe team and the ELF All-Star game. 

Following the season, the NFL hopefully showed his improvements at the October NFL International Combine in London. His improved athletic testing and impressive film cemented him as an easy choice for a second chance at the NFL.

Odeleye was initially seen by college scouts while playing for Loughborough University, in England. His long arms and massive frame stood out as the raw prospect screamed pass-rushing potential. 

The quick-twitch defender is one of three prospects from last year’s NFL IPP that have been granted a second shot at the NFL. Joining Odeleye for another go will be fellow Brit Ayo Oyelola and Austrian defensive lineman Leonel Misangumkini.

Read more about Adedayo Odeleye here

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and