DL Levi Onwuzurike, Washington (6’3”, 290)

Background:

Redshirted, then appeared in nine games and finished the year with a line of 16-2.0-3.5. Started four of thirteen games played the following year, posting 34-6.5-3.0. Followed that up with 45-6.0-2.0 as a junior before opting out of his senior season.

Positives:

Has two seasons of solid production under his belt. Has pretty solid size for an interior lineman, and was generally asked to play the zero-technique (nose tackle) on three-man lines, sliding out to a three-technique left defensive tackle on four man lines. Effective two-gap defender in the run game who can dig in at the line of scrimmage. Locks out opponents with his arms, locates the football, and sheds in time. Has the ability to dig in and use his big mitts and impressive functional strength to discard blockers. Range in pursuit is above-average, both because of his work rate and because of his athletic ability. High-motor rusher who is a handful to deal with because of his combination of power an quickness. Possesses impressive natural power, with the ability to come out of his stance low and walk opposing centers back in one-on-one matchups; looks like he’s on a blocking sled at times. Consequently,drew extra attention from opposing offensive lines, often proving a handful for both the center and the guard. More disruptive than his statistics would indicate. Also has impressive quickness out of his stance, showing good flexibility and lateral quickness to find lanes; could be a potential option for teams which use stunts to get after the passer. Has additional value blocking kicks on special teams.

Negatives:

Sort of a ‘tweener who is not quite the pass-rushing threat teams look for in an under tackle, but is not quite as big as they’d like in a nose tackle, either. Length also appears to be on the shorter side. Relies a lot on his power, quickness, and motor, and doesn’t tend to win snaps with his technique; rush repertoire looks somewhat limited, flashing rip and swim moves but tending to go with a more straightforward approach. Can occasionally get high or off-balance when using his rush moves. Didn’t finish too many of his rushes with sacks; would have liked to see him play this past year. Didn’t look very disruptive from the five-technique position.

Summary:

A very powerful defensive lineman who played different techniques in college, using his explosiveness, leg drive, and functional strength to overwhelm centers in one-on-one matchups, controlling blockers and two-gapping in the run game and drawing extra attention in the passing game. Might be best-suited to playing a two-gap nose tackle role on a team with an even front, but could potentially play as a three-technique or somewhere along an odd front as well. Should come off the board within the first couple rounds, and would be a solid choice near the end of the first round.

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