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Camp Spotlight: Defensive end Romeo Okwara

ROMEO OKWARA

Position: Defensive end

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 263

College: Notre Dame

Experience: 4th season

View photos of defensive end Romeo Okwara from Day 17 of Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage.

Outlook: Okwara was set to become a restricted free agent this offseason, but the Lions re-signed the veteran edge rusher to a new two-year deal after he led the team with 7.5 sacks last season.

The 24-year-old became a reliable pass rusher for the Lions last season, starting 14 games after he was claimed off waivers from the Giants. Okwara has a long frame, and can set the edge nicely in the run game. He should only get better the more he plays in this scheme.

Okwara and Trey Flowers make a nice one-two punch at the defensive end position.

Practice report: Okwara started off practice with a nice play in a team period vs. the Texans' first-team offense. Okwara didn’t fall for a play fake and bootleg from Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, and found himself matched up with him in space 1-on-1. Who knows what would have happened had the drill been live on the quarterback. Okwara let up, but if live, he probably has a sack, or at the very least forces Watson to throw the ball away.

Okwara was forced to take a little jog after jumping offside on his first 1-on-1 pass rush rep against the Texans o-line. After running around the field for that mistake, Okwara went up against Texans rookie left tackle Tytus Howard. Okwara tried a speed rush to the outside of the rookie. Give Howard credit, he moved his feet pretty well to stay in front of Okwara. I gave the rep to Howard.

Later, in another team period, Okwara made a nice play pinching down inside on a run play.

I thought Okwara was really good on Wednesday too. He had a nice two days down here in Texas.

Quotable: “Everybody tends to forget about the guys on your team that you signed back and how important those players are,” Lions head coach Matt Patricia said of Okwara. “And Romeo would be one of those guys. I think he has worked extremely hard to make himself better. He just continually improves as we go.

“He’s competitive, he’s tough. We are trying to get as many good players as possible on this roster to help us go win so I love the competition, that’s what it’s all about in the end.”

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