David Onyemata, born in Lagos, Nigeria, had a spectacular collegiate career in Canada, was picked fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and is now starring for the Saints in his second professional season.
New Orleans was eager to select the former Manitoba standout, as the Saints front office traded their 2016 and 2017 fifth-round picks to move up with Washington to pick him.
As a rookie, he received a -5.6 overall Pro Football Focus, which included just 10 quarterback pressures (four hits, six hurries) on 214 pass-rushing snaps.
With a year in an NFL strength and conditioning program under his belt, the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder has transformed into one of the most underrated interior defensive linemen in the league.
On 135 pass-rushing snaps in 2017, Onyemata already has 10 pressures (two sacks, one hit, and seven hurries). He owns a +10.3 overall PFF grade (+2.1 pass-rushing, +8.2 vs. the run). He's made 17 total tackles on the season, and 12 of those have been "stops" for the Saints defense. He's missed two tackles.
With teams zeroing in on elite edge-rusher Cameron Jordan and resurgent veteran Alex Okafor on the other side of the Saints defensive line, Onyemata has emerged as a force on the inside for New Orleans.
Also, he just had his best performance of the season in Week Nine against the Buccaneers. He had four quarterback pressures and two stops en route to a +3.9 overall PFF grade. He aligns at both left and right defensive tackle and disrupts plays with a combination of burst off the snap and strong hand use.
Onyemata has had an amazing journey to the NFL, and he's now one of the key members the Saints defense, someone the Bills certainly must account for on Sunday.
Stats and grades courtesy of Pro Football Focus.