2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: DL Levi Onwuzurike, Washington

Levi Onwuzurike has a number of intriguing traits that suggest he can be a disrupting force in the pass rush. Let's see what else he offers.
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DL LEVI ONWUZURIKE 

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 290 lbs.
Class: Senior (red shirt)
School: Washington 


Easily one of the nation’s top defensive lineman heading into the 2020 season. He opted out of the 2020 season and wasn’t seen on the field until the Senior Bowl, where he flashed but didn’t dominate. A former four-star recruit out of Allen, Texas, where he attended Allen High School.

Onwuzurike was on almost every 2020 pre-season watch list heading into the season because of the dominant flashes throughout his 2019 tape. He finished his time at Washington with 95 tackles, 16 for a loss, and seven sacks. According to Phil Steele, he was a 2019 First Team All Pac-12 and was an honorable mention as an All-American.

Traits

He is a sub-three hundred-pound defensive lineman who has excellent initial quickness off the snap and athletic ability for the position. He’s a tad bit undersized and may be more of a 3-technique in the NFL, but his upfield burst, quick hands, and ability to generate pressure as a pass rusher should not be overlooked.

He works well moving laterally against an outside zone and plays with very good eye discipline to work back into cut-back lanes--baits running backs. 

He uses length to keep chest clean and disengages well from lateral one on one blocks--uses timing, grip strength, and path anticipation to excel in this area. He does a very good job sifting through trash with balance and control.

He gets hands inside quickly and his eyes in the backfield well against base blocks. He has heavy, violent hands that stun offensive lineman.

He played some 1-technique and nose in college, that may not be his outcome in the NFL at 290 pounds unless it’s in obvious passing situations. He shouldn’t be asked to two-gap and take on double teams in the NFL--he doesn’t have the play strength to anchor down against those combo blocks consistently.

He is a good pursuit defender in space--changes direction well, hustles, and tracks ball carriers down from behind. Mental processing ability and competitive toughness aren’t issues, but his down to down consistency as a disrupter is fair to question. When he has an offensive lineman figured out, he’s at such an advantage with his natural skills and gifts.

He has a lot of twitch, quickness, and explosiveness to his game as a pass rusher. Impressive lower body bend helps him win the half-man relationship and dip/rip through the side of an offensive lineman.

He has an array of pass-rushing moves and combos: club/spin, swipe/swim, club/rip, and does a good job bending through contact. Had his flashes in one on ones at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, but the year off seemed to be evident.

Overall, Onwuzurike is a disruptive pass-rushing defensive lineman who can effectively play the run in a 1-gap system. His up-field burst, use of hands, athletic traits, and hustle are very desirable traits, specifically for a team looking for a 3-technique. His flashes are bright, and the intrigue is very understandable. 


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