A sixth-year senior set to take over the pre-draft circuit, make sure your chin strap is tightened when lined up across from Nebraska’s JoJo Domann. One of the lone sixth-year talents set to enter the draft and the de facto anchor for the Cornhuskers defense, his skill set has introduced one of the most NFL-ready defenders in the entire class.
After exercising his COVID waiver this past spring, Domann returned to captain the nucleus of the Cornhuskers defense, making his presence felt at all three levels. A high-IQ prospect who’s progressed into arguably the country’s top coverage linebacker due to his elite athletic ability and feel for the game as a former safety, he provided a versatility to the Huskers defense unmatched by many within any defense in the nation.
While his ability to wrangle down ball-carriers and minimize space working downhill accentuates his former days as a roaming apex defender, moving Domann to the second-level full time saw head coach Scott Frost reap the rewards from his outside linebacker. A fluid mover when asked to work in zone coverage where he is able to quickly gain depth in his drops, use his arm length to alter receivers’ routes, and has great feel to avoid being high-lowed by intricate route concepts, Domann’s quickness allows him to both turn and run with tight ends in man coverage, and when asked to match up across from wideouts when lined up over the slot, possess the necessary mirroring and technical ability to remain hip-to-hip with pass-catchers of all sizes and skill sets. Those are traits that should translate seamlessly to Sundays.
As the pro game quickly evolves into a seemingly positionless sport where players on both sides of the ball are being asked to provide a high level of impact at a multitude of positions, look no further than Domann as a talent scouts have begun to drool over as a do-it-all defender. Whether he’s aligned as a nickel corner over a wideout, standing up within the middle of a defense, or working with his head turned to the endzone in ROBOT (roll over and back) technique to quickly shut down pending crossers, Domann’s impact throughout his tenure as a Cornhusker became impossible to ignore.
Lined up over the slot receiver toward the field side of the formation, Domann quickly finds himself out of the play. Or, so you thought. As Ohio State wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba—a top 2023 WR prospect in his own right—makes the reception, for most players in Domann’s position, it’s time to fake a jog and watch the show. While Smith-Njigba houses the play, a near 55-yard sprint to the pylon from Domann tells you all you need to know on the type of prospect a certain NFL defensive coordinator will have at their disposal in due time.
A relentless athlete when thrown into the fire, labeling Domann as a prospect with a “constantly hot motor” wouldn’t do him justice. A high-octane defender whose past includes two torn ACLs, he approaches every play as if it’s truly his last, not just as a quote to peek at on a lock screen.
A 2021 AP All-American, Domann has quickly become a prospect that has seen his stock skyrocket up league-wide draft boards. A modern-day hybrid linebacker whose skill set is synonymous with 100+ tackle-per-season defenders in the NFL today, he’s just beginning to scratch the surface as a potential three-down defender at the next level.
A prospect relatively unknown to the common eye, the pre-draft circuit will do wonders for Domann’s game. A safety-turned-linebacker with a nose for the football who will stick his facemask through your chest plate, he’s everything you look for as a future leader of an NFL defense.