Owusu-Koramoah's athleticism and high ceiling have him in the first-round conversation
The nation's best linebacker last fall, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah isn't going to have to wait very long to hear his name called in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. A converted safety who is still learning how to play linebacker, the Butkus Award recipient showed himself to be a quick study, which is why he could go as early as the first round.
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Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Draft Profile
College: Notre Dame
Positionless football is a buzz phrase around the NFL, and Owusu-Koramoah embodies that as well as any prospect in this class. He was a multi-sport star in high school, garnering interest from colleges as a basketball recruit as well, and that pure athleticism shows up in the form of multi-directional movement skills as well as pure twitch and explosiveness. He arrived at Notre Dame as a safety before moving to the hybrid “rover” spot for the Irish, and he didn’t sacrifice movement skills as he bulked up. He has the fluidity and speed to run with tight ends, and he can play over the slot as a zone defender, with the twitch to close on the ball and the long arms to make a play. He’s more than capable as a blitzer, with the closing burst to finish sacks. As a run defender, he has a knack for finding routes to the ball, and his length gives him a good tackle radius. He’ll generally wrap up when he arrives at the ball.
As good as he is working in space, Owusu-Koramoah has to be covered up to be at his most effective. His take-on skills aren’t there yet, and he could be in for a rude welcome early in his career when asked to play around the line of scrimmage in the more claustrophobic NFL. And after basically playing only two full seasons at Notre Dame, he might not make an immediate impact as a rookie.
Owusu-Koramoah has all the tools teams look for in a modern linebacker, and while he carries some risk as a late bloomer with a limited amount of film, his ceiling warrants a first-round pick.
Final Grade: 1st round