Name: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
School: Notre Dame
Arm length: 33 inches
Hands: 8 7/8 inches
Wing span: 78 1/8 inches
40-yard dash: N/A
Vertical leap: 36.5 inches
Broad: 10 feet 4 inches
How he fits: It's no secret the Lions have to get more athletic and build their depth at the linebacker position heading into 2021.
Over the last couple years, the Lions liked to feature big, physical linebackers that could stand up to the run and be a physical presence. Unfortunately, that's not how the game is trending. Linebackers need to play in space, and to do so they need to be able to run and cover. Look at Tampa Bay's defense as the model. The Bucs were No. 1 against the run last year, but also have linebackers like Devin White and Lavonte David, who can run, cover and play physical.
Owusu-Koramoah is speedy and rangy, and has shown the ability to not only play downhill and physical, but also in space with an ability to be a high-end cover linebacker at the collegiate level. He's really a versatile player. He played some linebacker, safety and in the slot in South Bend due to his athleticism and versatility. He's a player who can likely line up at linebacker, strong safety or slot corner against tight ends in the NFL. A creative defensive coordinator can have fun deploying a player with Owusu-Koramoah's skill set.
Key observations: Produced 142 tackles and 24.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks over 25 starts the last two seasons. He forced five fumbles and recovered four over that span. Won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker and ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2020. He's drawn some early comparisons to Chargers versatile All-Pro defender Derwin James.
What they had to say about him: "It's hard to see Owusu-Koramoah's explosive traits, versatility and playmaking ability on display and not get excited about what is to come. Concerns will be raised about his lack of size and occasional lapses in fundamentals, but neither should detract from his rare potential as a game-changing talent. Not only is he fast to range and help control the outside running game, but he has an instant downhill trigger paired with a willingness to take chances, which should lead to big plays near and behind the line of scrimmage. He has the athletic ability to handle man-cover duties on a variety of positions and his rush potential as a wild-card blitzer bolsters his value.
"There is still a need to harness and control his energetic playing style and his field discipline is still a work in progress. However, his athletic traits, versatility and playmaking demeanor give him a chance to become the most impactful defender in this draft." – NFL analyst Lance Zierlein
What he had to say: "The NFL has become more of a pass happy league. More teams are running 70-80 percent sub third down packages. I think that's where my game peaks at, that third down sub, whether it's inside, outside, nickel, box, wherever it is. I saw a stat where somebody counted my snaps. I played 600 plus snaps out in the slot and about 450 plus snaps in the box. That kind of duality I think is what NFL teams are looking for as the league progresses to more of a pass league."