Onwuzurike Not Shy About It: 'I'm the Best D-Tackle in the Draft'

The former UW standout was a confident player emerging from the UW Pro Day.
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Levi Onwuzurike was his usual agreeable self as he leisurely responded to questions on Tuesday following his UW Pro Day showing at the Dempsey Center. What was different about the former Husky defensive tackle was the new goatee.

Oh, yes, his outward confidence was in marked contrast to his former self, too.

The big Texan was refreshingly forthright about what he thinks about his NFL prospects in comparison to being a far more reticent Washington football player when sought for his opinion.

If you're going to play with the big boys, he seemed to project, you better think you belong.

Quizzed about whether he should be a first-rounder, Onwuzurike almost scoffed at the suggestion that he could be anything else.

"I'm the best D-tackle in the draft," he said flatly. "So the best D-tackle in the draft should go in the first round."

Onwuzurike, pressed about what separates him from college football's other top defensive tackles awaiting the NFL draft, had bullet points in his head that he easily pulled from. He didn't need note cards.

"For me, my get off, my strong hands and my pass rush," Onwuzurike said. "Those three alone easily separate me from all the others. A lot of those guys can't do what I do and I can do what they do. One hundred percent, there's a big gap between us."

Onwuzurike said he has contacted virtually all of the former UW defensive linemen and others now in the NFL and asked for their guidance. 

He listed Vita Vea, Benning Potoa'e, Greg Gaines and Taylor Rapp among those who have been extra helpful.

Reminded that the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers are one of the teams he's been linked to as a late first-rounder, Onwuzurike brightened at the thought of joining Vea and Potoa'e again.

"That would be dope," he said. "I would have two guys up there."

Onwuzurike, who opted out of his senior Husky season last fall to prepare for the NFL draft, said he used the past six months to ready himself, particularly mentally. 

"One thing I've learned is the pace of NFL football is fast and long," he said. "You get a long day, but everything is moving fast. [I'm] just getting adjusted to that."

Of course, Onwuzurike will tell you that he can handle it.

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