Levi Onwuzurike NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Detroit Lions DL

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IApril 30, 2021

Washington defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike (95) hits Utah quarterback Jason Shelley after Shelley threw a pass during the first half of the Pac-12 Conference championship NCAA college football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

HEIGHT: 6'2⅞"




—Has experience in Washington's NFL-style defense as both a one-gap 3- and 1-tech as well as a two-gap 0-tech nose tackle.

—Did not base as a nose tackle in Washington's defense, but when given the reps, he showed he had the length to contribute at the position.

—Often wins plays with hand placement and arm lockouts.

—Aware enough as a pass-rusher to be able to set up countermoves such as inside swims in non-blitz situations.

—Has high play recognition for an interior defensive lineman; retraces his steps on screens and draws and often chases down plays from behind.

—Isn't so focused on penetration to bypass his assignment, giving him the mindset to contribute inside of the guards at the NFL level.

—Showed he could win in a half-man alignment at the college level, which will be a big sell for 4-3 teams and blitz-focused 3-4 teams.



—Does not have the prototypical weight requirement of a down-to-down nose tackle.

—Doesn't lack the athleticism at 3-technique to play there in the NFL, but he is not special in that department.

—Lateral movement skills, with his best pass-rushing moves being based out of counters, may limit him to 3-technique.

—Rotated in a healthy defensive line room more so than other interior line prospects, meaning he was playing on film with fresh legs compared to others.



Did not play in 2020.



—Declared for the NFL draft in September and did not play the 2020 season.

—Played high school football for Allen High School, which has produced the likes of Kyler Murray, Cedric Ogbuehi and Greg Little in recent years.

—Was healthy enough to play in 39 of 40 potential games in his college career before his early declaration in 2020.



Onwuzurike is a quality football player, at least when we saw him last on the field in 2019, but there are questions about how special his skill set is and how valuable those traits are. Between the guards, he lacks the weight of a traditional nose tackle. Outside of the guards, he does not have special athleticism that will make him a high-quality 3-technique. Overall, he is a sound defensive tackle who can fill snaps for a team that did not get any pocket push in 2020, as long as it is confident that the player it saw in 2019 is the same player it is getting in 2021.


GRADE: 7.72/10 (Round 2)



PRO COMPARISON: Folorunso Fatukasi


Written by B/R NFL Scout Justis Mosqueda


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