The Green Bay Packers will enter the 2021 NFL draft hoping to find a few more valuable pieces to add to an otherwise talented roster after winning 26 regular-season games and making the NFC Championship Game in back-to-back seasons under coach Matt LaFleur.
Between now and the draft, Packers Wire will periodically break down one top prospect capable of landing in Green Bay later this month.
Up next is Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah:
What he can do
– Highly-coveted athlete who played running back, wide receiver, linebacker, and safety in high school
– Linebacker in a safety’s body. Comfortable playing a variety of roles. Plays fast and physical and is quick to find the ball
– Able to play all three downs. Rangy, sideline to sideline linebacker who prefers to play downhill against the run. Quick to track the hip of a ball carrier from the backside of the play
– Can also drop back and be an efficient coverage linebacker
– In the run game, beats blockers to the point of attack using play speed to make plays on the ball carrier
– Moves with great fluidity. Has an explosive first step and is quick to change directions
– Has the ability to play in the slot against tight ends, running backs, and big slots. Super-versatile skill set and coverage ability allow him to be a dynamic chess piece
– Effective blitzer thanks to a high-end motor and ability to duck through blocks
– Solid tackling ability thanks to his ability to wrap up and implement his elite closing speed.
– Hard hitter. Looks to punish the person with the ball and doesn’t slow down when contact is imminent
– Good ball skills with seven pass defenses, five forced fumbles, and an interception in two seasons. Also recovered four fumbles and scored a defensive touchdown after recovering a fumble against Clemson last season
How he fits
Owusu-Koramoah may not be a full-time linebacker in the NFL. He struggles to take on blocks head-on, and his mental processing skills need to be sharpened. However, that isn’t going to stop him from getting on the field right away. He has all the traits to be a gifted WILL linebacker and box safety. Accompanied by Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin, Owusu-Koramoah provides a ton of flexibility for Green Bay at linebacker. Imagine a Raven Greene type but as an undisputed first-round talent. He is super effective when he is free to chase down ball carriers, and he is more than capable of holding his own in coverage. He’s basically the 2021 version of Derwin James, who Packers fans were enamored with in 2018. Owusu-Koramoah may not get you 140 tackles in a season, but he is going to be a consistent player that is always flying around and trying to make plays on the ball.
He is very similar to James but also unpredictable, like Isaiah Simmons. Is Owusu-Koramoah a linebacker or safety? That is a question whichever team that drafts him is going to have to figure out. James has battled injuries during his first few seasons, but he offers the same type of versatility you can find in Owusu-Koramoah. You can blitz him, play him in the slot, or line him up in the box, and he is going to have success.
Where Packers could get him
It would have to be in the first, and it may require a trade-up. Owusu-Koramoah is one of the most talented players in the draft and has the physical ability to transform a defense. If he somehow falls into the 20s, maybe Brian Gutekunst makes a call to get one of the best defensive players in the draft.
Prospect for the Pack: Texas edge rusher Joseph Ossai
Prospect for the Pack: Georgia CB Eric Stokes
Prospect for the Pack: Alabama OL Alex Leatherwood
Prospect for the Pack: Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg
Prospect for the Pack: Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore
Prospect for the Pack: Tulsa LB Zaven Collins
Prospect for the Pack: Florida WR Kadarius Toney
Prospect for the Pack: Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr.
Prospect for the Pack: Oregon S Jevon Holland
Prospect for the Pack: LSU WR Terrace Marshall Jr.
Prospect for the Pack: Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins
Prospect for the Pack: Alabama DL Christian Barmore
Prospect for the Pack: Northwestern CB Greg Newsome II
Prospect for the Pack: Texas OT Samuel Cosmi
Prospect for the Pack: Purdue WR Rondale Moore
Prospect for the Pack: Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman