OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson has run roughshod over several NFL teams.
He's been particularly effective against the Cleveland Browns, going 4-2 over six career games. Jackson has thrown for 1,102 yards with 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions (112 rating). He has also run for another 438 yards with four scores.
This past season, Jackson emerged from the locker room with cramps and led Baltimore to an improbable 47-42 victory in Week 14.
To help counter Jackson's ability to make plays on the fly, Cleveland moved up to select Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah with the 52nd overall pick in the NFL draft. His stock might have fallen because of a reported heart condition that emerged in the weeks leading up to the draft, but he was medically cleared.
"I think there's a problem the Browns have when they play Lamar Jackson," Browns radio play-by-play announcer Jim Donovan said. "They just cannot corner him, they can't get him down, they can't pen him in. And I think a guy like this, so athletic, he's going to be able to help in that regard."
The Browns are hopeful Owusu-Koramoah has the speed and athleticism to spy Jackson and keep him contained. Owusu-Koramoah is touted as a hybrid linebacker/safety for his ability to close down opponents.
Owusu-Koramoah won the Butkus Award in 2020, an honor that goes to the nation's best linebacker. The Hampton, Va. native racked up 62 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles this past season. Owusu-Koramoah was a game-changer for Notre Dame, not just with the big-time plays that he made, often in clutch moments, but also for how he forced opponents to game plan to avoid him as much as possible.
Owusu-Koramoah was named a unanimous All-American and the defensive player of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference to go along with his Butkus Award last season.
Now, he'll face his biggest challenge trying to contain Jackson at least twice per year