2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

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Today we will look at Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, a LB from Notre Dame. JOK measures in at 6’1 216lbs, so on the smaller side for LBs. He was extremely productive at Notre Dame, ending his 2020 season as the Butkus Award winner, given to the best Linebacker in college football.

Strengths: Owusu-Koramoah is a very intriguing prospect. His listed position is LB, but he played what I like to call a rover position, meaning he really lined up wherever, in many different positions, in a similar way to Isaiah Simmons from last year’s draft class. He is very quick, with sideline to sideline speed. JOK displays great instincts and vision and sees a lot of plays develop very quickly, and has a great football IQ, sometimes knowing plays before they have even developed. This also helps him in coverage as he has a good idea of various route concepts and routes in general, as he did well covering a variety of players in the slot. Because of his speed and quickness, he has a good ability to avoid blocks, but does struggle to shed them. He displays great closing speed both in coverage and when going to make a tackle, and also takes good pursuit angles. JOK has a relentless motor and is always looking for someone to hit, and often puts big hits on the ball carrier. He is extremely versatile, as seen by his ability to line up at LB, slot CB, and S.

Weaknesses: JOK’s size is an issue if he is expected to play as a true LB at the next level. At 216, he is undersized for a LB and his size causes a few concerns. First of all, if he doesn’t play LB, where would he fit into a defense? Maybe a strong safety, but there’s no clear role for him, he might need a specified role on a defense that a creative defensive coordinator would have to think up for him. If he is supposed to stay at LB, he probably needs to bulk up at least 10/15lbs. But the extra weight could slow him down, taking away one of his greatest strengths. His size also causes him to struggle to shed blocks because offensive linemen can overpower him, and that probably will continue at the next level. 

Bottom Line: Regardless of his size or lack of true position, JOK is a great football player, and he will be one of the best 11 defensive players on whatever team drafts him. It will be up to the defensive coordinator of the team that drafts him to figure out how to get him on the field. His great quickness and elite instincts and football IQ will allow him to succeed at the NFL level. In a league where some teams are starting to play with two LBs on the field, JOK could be a third LB that can also move to safety and slot corner when needed.

Unofficial Grade: 1.7

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