Sports Illustrated Mock Draft: Julian Okwara In Round One

Bryan Driskell

One of the most accurate draft analysts in the business views former Notre Dame defensive end Julian Okwara as a first-round player in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Sport Illustrated's Kevin Hanson, who was ranked as the second most accurate in last year's mock drafts, projected Okwara to go No. 27 to the Seattle Seahawks.

"Only the Dolphins (23) recorded fewer sacks than the Seahawks (28) in 2019 and both Jadeveon Clowney and Ezekiel Ansah are potential free agents. Okwara’s season was cut short (fibula) and he has lacked consistency, but he’s a long and explosive athlete that has racked up 13.5 sacks and 19.5 TFL in 22 games over the past two seasons."

Over the last two seasons the former Notre Dame 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.

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