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2021 NFL Draft profile: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is hybrid linebacker Dolphins may need

Notre Dame v Duke Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

We continue to inch toward the start of the 2021 NFL Draft, and we continue to bring you a closer look at some of the top draft prospects the Miami Dolphins could target over this weekend. So far, we have taken a look at several of the offensive players that could land in South Florida. Today, we are hitting up some of the top prospects from the other side of the ball.

From now through Thursday, we will look at the measurables, what analysts are saying, and the fit in with the Dolphins for several of the potential draft targets. Will Miami land any of these players? Will it be with the team’s sixth-overall selection, the 18th pick, or sometime later in the Draft?

Next up on the list, Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah:

College Career

Career: 34 games, 366 att, 2,297 yards, 29 TDs, 50 recs, 539 yards, 4 TDs

  • Freshman (2017, Notre Dame): No appearances
  • Sophomore (2018, Notre Dame): 2 games
  • Junior (2019, Notre Dame): 13 games, 80 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 4 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries
  • Senior (2020, Notre Dame): 12 games, 62 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 passes defensed, 1 INT, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, TD; Butkus Award (Nation’s best linebacker) winner

Measurements

From Notre Dame pro day:

Height: 6’ 1-1/2”
Weight: 221 lbs
Arm Length: 33”
Hand size: 8-7/8”

Spider Chart (via MockDraftable.com)

Combine-style testing

From Notre Dame pro day:

Bench Press: N/A
Vertical: 36-1/2”
Broad jump: 10’ 4”
40-yard dash: N/A
20-yard shuttle: 4.15 sec
3-cone drill: 6.81 sec

What the are saying

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com - It’s hard to see Owusu-Koramoah’s explosive traits, versatility and playmaking ability on display and not get excited about what is to come. Concerns will be raised about his lack of size and occasional lapses in fundamentals, but neither should detract from his rare potential as a game-changing talent. Not only is he fast to range and help control the outside running game, but he has an instant downhill trigger paired with a willingness to take chances, which should lead to big plays near and behind the line of scrimmage. He has the athletic ability to handle man-cover duties on a variety of positions and his rush potential as a wild-card blitzer bolsters his value. There is still a need to harness and control his energetic playing style and his field discipline is still a work in progress. However, his athletic traits, versatility and playmaking demeanor give him a chance to become the most impactful defender in this draft.

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com - Owusu-Koramoah starred as an athletic hybrid defender for the Fighting Irish. He can play Will linebacker, safety or even cover in the slot. He’s very fluid and twitchy to mirror tight ends, backs or slot receivers. He’s very aware as a zone dropper and he’s an explosive blitzer off the edge. He is quick to key/read before dipping under blocks on the front side against the run. He flashes the ability to use his length to punch off blockers, but he is much more effective beating them to spots. He has big-time speed to chase from the back side. He needs to improve his consistency as a tackler in space, though, as he has too many fly-by misses. He brings outstanding leadership to the defense. Overall, Owusu-Koramoah might lack ideal size/bulk, but he’s built for a pass-happy NFL.

Tony Pauline, Pro Football Network - Owusu-Koramoah was an outstanding linebacker at the college level who got better each season. He lacks classic size, but he’s a one-gap defender who is equally effective in coverage or run defense.

ESPN.com - Owusu-Koramoah is what the NFL is looking for in a defender because of his exceptional versatility. He’s an undersized but instinctive and fast WLB who can play the “overhang” position. He shows very good recognition skills and always seems to be around the ball. He needs to get bigger and stronger, as his take-on skills are his biggest weakness at this point. Owusu-Koramoah is fluid, smooth and fast in coverage. He has also flashed the ability to pressure quarterbacks and get home with speed and suddenness. He is a plug-and-play NFL starter who will provide exceptional versatility

Dolphins fit

Do the Dolphins need an undersized linebacker who has the range to go sideline-to-sideline and will do just about anything needed? It sounds like someone they once had... Anyway, back to Owusu-Koramoah, he could be exactly what the Dolphins need. He is a linebacker who can play the run, but he will make his money as a coverage guy against linebackers and running backs. He can also provide pressure through the blitz, adding to Jerome Baker and Andrew Van Ginkel. The Dolphins love to run an amoeba-style defense, with players lining up all over the field; Owusu-Koramoah perfectly fits that role with the ability to be anywhere as a linebacker or even nickel cornerback. There is work to be done with Owusu-Koramoah, but he has the potential to be a special player in the league. If Miami has a shot at him with the 18th pick, he should be a high consideration.