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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

  • The Draft Network
  • December 21, 2020
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PROSPECT SUMMARY

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah projects as an impact defender at the NFL level. There’s an undeniable level of explosion to his game that helps Owusu-Koramoah mask the limitations of his game on account of his stature. An ideal match from a team perspective would be one that wants to stay in their base defensive personnel at a higher than average rate, where Owusu-Koramoah’s versatility can shine brightly against spread sets. There’s plenty of experience playing as a pressure player up the middle and even as a pseudo-third safety who is walked outside the hashes and taking man-to-man reps against wide receivers from the slot. Owusu-Koramoah took a big step forward with his game in 2020 and was in several contests the best football player on the field—he moves at a different speed than his teammates and his instincts to find the football and make big plays is undeniable. The more you watch, the more you love. Just don’t ask him to play a traditional stack role or attempt to work him as the MIKE linebacker for sustained, optimal success. 

Ideal Role: Base 4-3 WILL linebacker; three-down defender who moves to box safety in sub-packages.

Scheme Fit: Even front, blitz-oriented pass rush defense.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Kyle Crabbs

Games watched: Georgia (2019), Iowa State (2019), Duke (2020), North Carolina (2020), Florida State (2020), Clemson (2020)

Best Game Studied: Clemson (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Florida State (2020)

Tackling: The range as a tackler is tremendous. Owusu-Koramoah is as explosive as any linebacker you’ll find from a closing burst perspective, although that does come at a cost with his stature. That said, there are very few times in which Owusu-Koramoah’s size shows up as a detriment in tackling. Explosive hits come courtesy of how quickly he’ll trigger and get on top of ball carriers and he does well to unload through the body of ball carriers. 

Football IQ: There are plenty of “little things” Owusu-Koramoah does well that indicate his grasp of the speed of the game. Both in coverage and as a tackler he’s constantly raking at the football to make big hits. He’ll show a good understanding of how and when to selectively duck into gaps before anticipating ball carrier flow to create negative press to the LOS. Owusu-Koramoah’s versatility allows him to be well versed in run defense, pass defense, and pass rushes, making him a dangerous weapon. 

Competitive Toughness: It is easy to appreciate the energy, effort, and fearlessness that Owusu-Koramoah plays with. He’s not afraid to hunt up hits in the box or shoot the gap and he’s taken on bigger ball carriers with gusto. Functional strength at the point of attack is an area of concern, however, and he’s not going to be a “one size fits all” prospect who can simply stack over interior OL and shine each week in the pros. 

Pass Coverage Ability: Owusu-Koramoah is tremendous here. He’s spent a ton of time in coverage on the hashes and has handled coverage duties on slot receivers with relative success. He performed well here against Clemson and forced a fumble at the catch point; so he’s not just picking on lesser competition to shine here. He illustrates good patience to not bail out and give up easy competitions to receivers in his zone and his click and close at the top of the stem will force opposing quarterbacks to throw with accuracy when testing him. You do wish he had a little more area of influence at the catch point, but with his movement skills, you’re being picky to gripe here. 

Run Defending: Owusu-Koramoah should be considered a rally defender first and foremost. He’s got the speed and range to chase down outside runs from the backside and scrape overtop. But he’ll also shine in zone-read defense as the playside defender with how quick he’ll press the mesh and how fluid his change of direction skills are. He’ll hit with pop when coming downhill, but does need clear lanes to shoot to make an impact between the tackles. 

Block Deconstruction: This will not be an area of strength for Owusu-Koramoah. It is inevitable with his stature and size that stacking up offensive linemen simply won’t happen often. When Owusu-Koramoah sticks his nose in the pile, he’ll successfully slip under hands to wrap the ball carrier—but if you play him stacked, you better have a stud defensive line in front of him or else risk seeing him swallowed at the POA. 

Lateral Mobility: Sideline to sideline range is available to him if Owusu-Koramoah is ever stacked in subpackages as an overhang defender. Short-area quickness shines even more so than his long-speed; he’ll flash and mirror ball carriers pressing the perimeter effortlessly and is a dynamic athlete in space who has strung out Travis Etienne of all people. Little limitations in agility and burst. 

Flexibility: Redirection skills are terrific thanks to a dynamic base and Owusu-Koramoah has the ability to dart through tight creases as a result. There’s little issue with leverage and pad level in his game and Owusu-Koramoah shows good lateral lean to carry speed through his redirection opportunities when flashing off the edge. His fluid hip hinge in space allows him to flip and drive on routes in coverage like a safety. 

Leadership: In 2020, Owusu-Koramoah developed into one of the lead by example members of the Irish defense. With strong effort on film and a keen knack for creating big plays, Owusu-Koramoah is a headliner on a talented Irish front. Off the field, he’s spent time speaking with a juvenile detention center to help act as a role model for success.

Versatility: Teams that want to stay in base or keep their linebackers on the field will love him. Owusu-Koramoah is a terrific blitz and pressure player and shows a good feel for navigating the point of attack to sift through creases and find an alley. His three-down appeal is obvious given his experience playing outside the hashes and how well he triggers on quick game from the slot. His rally skills in the run game are strong, but he can run the edge and disrupt the outside run game as well. 

Prospect Comparison: Lavonte David (2012 NFL Draft, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 85.00/100

Joe Marino: 87.00/100

Kyle Crabbs: 86.00/100

Jordan Reid: 85.50/100

Drae Harris: 81.00/100

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