Notre Dame defensive end Julian Okwara remains a favorite by the draft analysts at Pro Football Focus, and lead draft analyst Mike Renner has Okwara in the first round of his latest mock draft.
“Okwara may very well take the NFL Scouting Combine crown come late February in Indianapolis. Okwara was inconsistent but still earned a 90.4 pass-rushing grade this season.”
Over the last two seasons the Irish end racked up 19.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. Those numbers are more impressive when you consider he had to compete for sacks with 2019 first-round pick Jerry Tillery as well as with teammates Khalid Kareem and Daelin Hayes.
Okwara played just nine games this season after suffering a season-ending injury in the team’s Nov. 9 win over Duke. At the time of his injury Okwara led the Irish with five sacks. According to PFF, the Irish end registered 93 quarterback pressures the last two seasons.
Renner recently released a Top 100 Big Board for the 2020 Draft in which he had Okwara as the No. 22 overall prospect, and the No. 4 ranked edge player. Renner also had Kareem ranked as the No. 57 overall player in the upcoming draft and the No. 9 edge player.
Notre Dame’s upcoming bowl opponent, Iowa State, does not have a single player on Renner’s Top 100.