2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Levi Onwuzurikeby Charlie Parent April 20, 2021 0 comments
Levi Onwuzurike is a player who is shooting up draft boards, and for good reason. He’s a very talented player who can give NFL teams a bit of everything at the defensive tackle position. The big concern with him is consistency and size. He’s failed to make continuous reps impactful but has certainly shown the ability that he can put all of his game together at once. For the defensive tackle position, Onwuzurike is a bit small, sitting at only 290 lbs. After opting out in 2020, his stock took a bit of an initial dip, but now Onwuzurike is making a heavy push to be selected in the first round.
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Name: Levi Onwuzurike
Position: Defensive Tackle
Class: Redshirt Senior
Weight: 290 lbs
One word to describe Onwuzurike’s explosiveness: Wow. He possesses a unique explosion ability. This was demonstrated best at the Senior Bowl this year, where he only participated one day but showed he hasn’t lost a step. He gets out of his stance effortlessly and attacks the lineman with urgency. He rarely ever fails to initiate leverage. If Onwuzurike is picked in the first round, his explosion will be a major reason why. Teams will just not be able to pass upon it.
Run Stuff (9.25/10)
Onwuzurike is an exceptional run stopper. He uses his initial get-off to gain leverage and attack the lineman inside. His athleticism and power allow him to disengage with his blocker and attack the ball carrier. He has a knack for knowing where the hole is opening and closes it to the best of his ability. What he can improve is keeping his distance from lineman. He can get a little too close at times which leads to an un-impactful rep. Otherwise, his play in the run game is really fun to watch.
Pass-Rush Ability (8/10)
Onwuzurike is certainly an above-average pass-rusher, but also has a lot to do in this department. He only had seven sacks through a three-year playing career at Washington, but stats never tell the full story. Onwuzurike has extensive knowledge of leverage and how to utilize his quickness and counters. He contains a pretty mean bull-rush as well because of his ability to get low. Where he struggles is the longer the rep extends. He tends to lose all leverage and pad level if he can’t do much with the initial parts of the rep. He’ll need to improve in this area if he wants to succeed in schemes that implore pass-rush from their defensive tackles.
Overall Block Shed (7.25/10)
This trait is really interesting for Onwuzurike. There are times when he does a really good job getting off his blocker, and others where he doesn’t do too well. These inconsistencies really show all around his game, and here is the perfect example. The concern comes when he’s trying to disengage either in the run game or chasing the passer who’s manipulating the pocket. At times Onwuzurike just tries to take his hands off and go, which does not work. This leads to the lineman just punishing him in the rep. He has shown good flashes of proper block shed technique, but another area where if he can be more consistent, he can dominate.
Although his size gives him a bit of an advantage here compared to other defensive tackles, Onwuzurike has really nice bend. He can get low in the bull-rush and finds good leverage because of his flexibility.
Onwuzurike posted an impressive 29 on the bench press at his pro day. His tape reflects this measurement as well. He packs a punch in his initial contact which can stun linemen at the point of attack. For a guy his size, not much was expected from a strength standpoint, but he’s really outstanding measurable-wise and play-wise, which makes for a fantastic rating.
Onwuzurike’s hands are always active. He has a very nice pop and initial strike on the lineman. He utilizes a good amount of hand counters in the pass-rush and it leads to inside leverage which gets him into the passing lane or backfield. The combination of power, activity, and technique in the counters shows his great ability to use his hands in any circumstance.
Lateral Movement (9.25/10)
So much has already been said about Onwuzurike’s athleticism, but he’s a really fantastic mover. He ran a 4.95 40 at his pro day which is impressive for defensive tackle standards. He’s very quick on the inside and obviously has that wicked explosiveness.
Really no complaint here from a tackling standpoint. He does well to use his size and wrap up smaller running backs. No real whiffs on tape and he does well to track down the ball carrier. He is pretty relentless in going after whoever has the ball which is great to see.
Competitive Toughness (5/5)
Onwuzurike plays with relentless effort. He goes after every ball carrier is always active. His energy has the potential to really get his teammates going on the front seven. Really love to see a guy bring this much energy to their play.
Onwuzurike had an undisclosed injury at the Senior Bowl which caused him to sit out of the game. Other than that, he was pretty clean throughout his Washington career and no concerns whatsoever.
Onwuzurike plays with boundless energy and fantastic athleticism. His initial get-off is the best part of his game. Some inconsistencies need to be polished up, but the flashes he’s shown do not lie. He can really be a great player in the NFL under the proper coaching and can work in any scheme. For a guy who’s starting to get mocked in the first round, he’s worth all the hype and should be a day one selection.
Final Grade (88.5/100): Mid-First Round