The prime 11 linebackers within the 2021 NFL draft

The prime 11 linebackers within the 2021 NFL draft

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USATSI 15385265

(Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)

Height: 6’1″ (fiftieth) Weight: 221 (sixth)
40-Yard Dash: N/A
Bench Press: N/A
Vertical Jump: 37 inches (seventy fifth)
Broad Jump: 124 inches (87th)
3-Cone Drill: 6.80 seconds (93rd)
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.15 seconds (eighty fifth)

Bio: A product of Bethel High School in Hampton, Virginia, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah graded as a three-star exterior linebacker in the course of the 2017 recruiting class, based on 247sports.com. Owusu-Koramoah entertained a lot of scholarship gives together with Virginia and Michigan State, however enrolled to play faculty ball at Notre Dame. His profession at South Bend obtained off to a sluggish begin, as he was a reserve participant as a freshman and missed the majority of his sophomore season on account of a foot damage. But he grew to become a starter in 2019 and recorded 80 tackles — together with 13.5 for a loss — and 5.5 sacks. Last 12 months his numbers dipped a bit however he introduced house a ton of {hardware} for his efforts on the sphere, together with the Butkus Award (given to the hig hest linebacker in faculty soccer), ACC Defensive Player of the Year and he was a unanimous All-American.

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Stat to Know: My favourite stat of his? Owusu-Koramoah notched a 1310 on the SAT.

Strengths: In an period the place off-ball linebackers have gotten devalued, Owusu-Koramoah may be the proper participant for the second. He is extra “linebacker in name only” than anything, and he spent plenty of his time within the slot as an overhang defender. There you would possibly see him matching up with gamers like Amari Rodgers and Dazz Newsome within the slot, and he would match them stride-for-stride on routes downfield, forcing the QB to look elsewhere with the soccer.

Still, Owusu-Koramoah is maybe described as a “space player with a linebacker’s mentality.” He is athletic, explosive and bodily. You would possibly see him combating via visitors within the field to get the the working again on first down, after which working with a slot receiver on second down. He has a really fast set off in opposition to the run, flying downhill to get into every match. Despite his penchant to play within the slot, he can nonetheless be bodily in opposition to the run and works onerous to get into the correct match. Notre Dame used him rather a lot on blitzes from the slot, and he has nice really feel and consciousness in these moments, comparable to his landing in Notre Dame’s regular-season win over Clemson which got here on one such play.

Notre Dame additionally tasked him with completely different protection tasks, from sample matching to spot-dropping coverages and man protection schemes. He displayed nice consciousness in sample matching conditions, comparable to a play in opposition to UNC the place he wanted to hold the out-and-up route from the #3 receiver on the play.

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Finally, whenever you mix his athleticism with the hassle and depth he exhibits on every play, you get one heck of a soccer participant.

Weaknesses: Those of us on the surface proceed to advertise the concept of “positionless football,” and the concept of hybrid gamers. This is occurring on either side of the soccer, lest you neglect the discussions round Kyle Pitts this season. Another prime instance was a 12 months in the past, with Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons.

Yet the league won’t really feel the identical about these sorts of gamers, and with Simmons for example he slid a bit within the draft and has confronted a tougher transition to the NFL than folks like me anticipated. That could possibly be the case with Owusu-Koramoah, who can be one of many smaller linebackers within the NFL if used primarily as a stack LB in a extra conventional function. Or if groups do view him as extra of an overhang/slot participant, is that worthy of an early first-round choice? So considered one of his largest weaknesses would possibly stem from discovering him the correct match.

Owusu-Koramoah’s aggression and play pace can get him into bother. He flies across the area however there are moments on movie the place he will get himself to the spot, however fails to complete the play with a missed deal with. There had been examples of this in each video games in opposition to Clemson, in addition to his recreation in opposition to UNC the place after a well-timed slot blitz, he missed on an opportunity for an enormous sack of Sam Howell and let him escape.

Conclusion: Still, I might relatively discover methods to make use of a participant like this throughout my protection than move on him and see one other defensive coordinator discover methods to make use of him to wreck offenses, together with my very own. A participant that may run with a number of the finest slot receivers within the ACC on first down, explode downhill to cease the run on second down, after which disrupt the pocket with a well-timed blitz on third down, can play for me any day of the week.

Comparison: It is difficult to search out an apt comparability for him given his versatility, however by way of a task Fred Warner could possibly be a schematic comparability. Both had been gamers used extra as overhang defenders in faculty, and Warner has discovered methods to contribute everywhere in the area in San Francisco from protection to blitzing via the inside gaps. That could possibly be a mannequin for Owusu-Koramoah’s transition to the league.

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