Welcome back for a look at my 2021 NFL Draft Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Profile! In this article I'll take a look at his Collegiate Career, in terms of statistics as well as what I've picked up from his film.
Then I'll also dive into where I'm projecting him to go in the NFL Draft, look at some team fits, as well as lay out what I think his career might look like in the NFL.
2021 NFL Draft Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Profile
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Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah(JOK) was a 3-Star Recruit out of Hampton Virginia. He originally committed to Virginia, but later de-committed, and ended up at Notre Dame.
He was relegated to the scout team for his Freshman year, and broke his foot prior to his Sophomore year, costing him the season.
Then, in his Junior year, he was named a starting linebacker and never looked back. He went on to win several awards his Senior year, including the Butkus Award (Best College LB), All ACC First Team, and ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
In his Junior Season he compiled 80 Tackles (54 Solo), 13.5 Tackles for Loss, 5.5 Sacks, 4 Passes Defended, 2 Forced Fumbles, and 2 Fumble Recoveries over 13 Games.
Then in his Senior Season, he added on 62 Tackles (42 Solo), 11 Tackles for Loss, 1.5 Sacks, 1 Interception, 3 Passes Defended, 3 Forced Fumbles, 2 Fumble Recoveries, and a Fumble Return TD, over 12 Games.
Needless to say, JOK's statistical production was impressive. While the decline in tackles from his Junior to Senior year is concerning to some extent, his production in the other statistical categories eases my concerns.
On an NFL Defense, you want guys that can be efficient but also contribute to stealing possessions. Playmaking like that is a gift, a knack, or a mindset, you can't really teach in my opinion.
Tale of the Tape
While looking at his tape I may have found the explanation for his slight dip in tackle production during his senior year. He's simply asked to do A LOT of things. His versatility is truly impressive. He's asked to help in run support as well as drop into coverage. He also blitzed more than you'd expect.
Simply put, since he's not always lined up in the box or the middle of the field, it's to be expected that his production might not be very consistent. All it takes is several plays to go to the other side of the field, or away from him when he's on the blitz, and he's out of the play.
One thing I did notice is he does have a tendency to miss tackles. Usually in a way where he fails to wrap the player up, and finish the tackle. This could be attributed to his small frame, at 6'1 215 lbs, he could have problems at the next level if he doesn't beef up some or change his role.
LBs are getting smaller these days to be able to accommodate to opposing offenses abusing matchups against larger slower linebackers in coverage. So I'm not saying he can't play LB, but there's a good chance he'll struggle in run support at his current size.
I think there's a good chance JOK goes in the mid-late portion of the first round. As I mentioned his versatility is impressive, along with his ability to create impact plays and force turnovers.
His ability in coverage will be very attractive to teams. Like I mentioned, in a league where opposing offenses will strive to abuse matchups on linebackers, JOK will be a great piece to defend against that option.
As for team fits, JOK is hard to project. Considering needs and projected interest where I have him projected (in the middle of the 1st Round), no one team really jumps out at me.
The top 4 teams that draw my interest are Las Vegas at 17, Miami at 18, Tennessee at 22, and New York (Jets) at 22.
They've since added former Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. He managed to lead the Chargers to a much better season defensively, ranking inside the top 10. Wherever they elect to go, the defense needs to be further addressed.
Miami's defense was slightly better than Las Vegas, but could still use significant improvement. JOK profiles as someone that Head Coach Brian Flores would love to use in his scheme. His versatility would allow him to be utilized anywhere on the defense.
The one drawback would be his size. Typically Flores (Also New England) style linebackers are the bigger thumpers with athleticism. Of note Elandon Roberts, the current starting LB for Miami is a free agent.
Tennessee was another defense that struggled mightily while their offense excelled. They particularly struggled in yards allowed per rush and could've been better in yards allowed per completion. Having a guy like JOK who can contribute in both areas would likely be substantial for this defense.
Also note that starting LB Jayon Brown had suffered a season-ending elbow injury and is a free agent. Should he be retained, I'd say the chances JOK lands here diminish.
New York (Jets)
While there are many ways the Jets can proceed here I think they start to build Robert Saleh's defense. Currently, they don't have a stud at the LB position. They got guys, but I don't think they have THE Guy. Maybe give Salah a player to mold to be his guy at the position.
This is tough without knowing the landing spot. But I'd definitely say he's a guy worth targeting in the late 2nd/early 3rd rounds of a Rookie Dynasty Draft in IDP123 scoring.
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I think a season similar to Patrick Queen is fair to expect. But it's possible he doesn't even start.
I believe he'll be a day one starter in the NFL. He's a savvy player who's athletic and skilled in coverage. I hope he can land with a somewhat creative defensive coordinator who will use his skill set to the fullest.
At his size, I don't think MIKE linebacker is ideal for him. I'd rather see him in a weakside hybrid type role where he can split off into coverage or be sent as a blitzer.
An unlikely alternative is to have him play a hybrid strong box safety/linebacker hybrid similar to Jeremy Chinn last year. I doubt the move is made, but I think he could be elite in that role.
JOK is a great prospect. His coverage ability, athleticism, abilities to make plays, and his wit are large strengths of his. He should be a 1st Round Draft pick in the NFL Draft for those very reasons.
He'll need to sure up his tackling in order to be an elite/top tier LB, but he seems to have good character, and with a good coach, should be able to accomplish just that.
Thanks for reading my 2021 NFL Draft Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Profile!
Much Love, -BV
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