The Saints figure to have many appealing prospects at their disposal when they draft in the first round on Thursday night. Where they ultimately select is anybody's guess, but past tendencies favor a potential trade-up scenario with a team selecting higher than 28th. One possible target on their radar could be Notre Dame's Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
Owusu-Koramoah plays like he's shot out of a cannon. He has great speed and offers a ton of upside in coverage, and it's also easy to see how his utilization as a blitzing linebacker could benefit the Saints. Of course, being converted from a safety makes how he reads receivers and plays the ball stand out. That 'hybrid' role is desirable for any defense, and he should thrive as a weakside linebacker while offering more to his game. The amount of aggression he plays with is unmatched. His run support isn't the greatest, and he tends to get blocked out on some plays going up against some receivers (see Alabama tape). However, his pros most assuredly outweigh his cons, and he should make a large impact as a three-down player. Pairing with the right scheme and defensive coordinator will be key for next level success.
Pro Day Measurables and Results
- Height: 6-1.4"
- Weight: 221 pounds
- Arm: 33"
- Wing: 78 1/8"
- Hand: 8 7/8"
- 40-Yard Dash: Did Not Participate
- Vertical Jump: 36 1/2"
- Broad Jump: 10'4"
- 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.15 Seconds
- 3-Cone: 6.81 Seconds
The Case for the Saints
Linebacker is a bit of a concern for New Orleans. Demario Davis continues to be a rising stud, and he figures to be in for at least a few more productive seasons with the Saints anchoring the middle. Outside of him, there's plenty of question marks. There's a chance that the team brings back Kwon Alexander, and he's been looking fantastic in his rehab with Dr. Reef. However, it seems like going into the draft that you have to operate as if he won't be back and may not be completely 100 percent by the start of the season.
Owusu-Koramoah may not be available when the Saints pick, forcing them to look at trading up to get him. Penn State's Micah Parsons is most likely the top linebacker taken in the draft, and other prospects like Tulsa's Zaven Collins and Kentucky's Jamin Davis may see their name called later on the first night. If JOK somehow lasts until 28th, it'll be a shock. New Orleans' best bet to get him would be to look at trading around pick No. 20-24.