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Report: Browns' Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Had Heart Issue That Led to Slide in Draft

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 4, 2021

Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One of the more notable surprises of the 2021 NFL draft was when Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah fell all the way to the Cleveland Browns in the second round with the No. 52 overall pick, but the slide was reportedly because of a heart condition.

On Monday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported most teams were concerned with a "heart issue that came up late in the process" even though doctors ultimately cleared him.

Owusu-Koramoah wasn't the only highly regarded prospect with a potential heart concern, as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Michigan defensive end Kwity Paye "had a very serious health scare when his heart was red-flagged during a pre-draft physical."

Paye was eventually cleared as well, and the Indianapolis Colts selected him in the first round with the No. 21 overall pick.

Despite the health issue, Cleveland landed one of the best defensive players in the draft and was able to do so late in the second round with the Owusu-Koramoah pick. He tallied 80 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss. 5.5 sacks, four passes defended, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles during the 2019 campaign.

He then followed up with 62 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one interception, three passes defended, two fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles while helping lead Notre Dame to the College Football Playoff during the 2020 campaign.

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B/R NFL Scouting Department ranked Owusu-Koramoah as the 14th-best player in the entire draft and the best overall linebacker.

It is rare to land a prospect like that so late in the draft, and the Browns surely hope he can live up to expectations as they attempt to reach the playoffs for the second straight season.