While Owusu-Koramoah compared himself to Jones, NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah believes he could serve as a linebacker/safety hybrid. In a Cover 3 base, oftentimes bigger strong safeties play close to the line of scrimmage, which could be a role Owusu-Koramoah could end up handling.
With the Falcons, Keanu Neal played this role over the past five seasons.
“You’ve got Owusu-Koramoah from Notre Dame who’s going to be a fascinating player, who played like 210, 215 pounds, but just runs all over the place, makes all kinds of plays,” Jeremiah said. “You can deploy him in a lot of different ways, almost function as a strong safety. You can use him as a nickel linebacker.”
With that in mind, however, Owusu-Koramoah said he’s mostly heard from teams that they want him to strictly be a linebacker. That’s what Owusu-Koramoah prefers, saying he wants to play closer to the line of scrimmage.
“I think when I step on the field, my attitude kind of differs from others, just willing to attack, willing to be physical, willing to take chances, willing to make plays, a fierce competitor,” Owusu-Koramoah said. “In terms of the offense and their skills and speed, I think I match up just as well. I run fast, I’m physical and I’m quick reacting, but not too quick where I can’t be patient to wait for the play to develop in terms of my eyes. In terms of moving onto the next level I think I’ll be ready for it.”
Central Florida running back Johnny Richardson (25) is tackled by Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins (23) after rushing for yardage during the second half Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)
Owusu-Koramoah is among the top group of linebacker prospects in this year’s NFL draft. The consensus top option is Penn State’s Micah Parsons, who has a chance to be selected in the top 10 picks. Behind Parsons, multiple analysts have Owusu-Koramoah, Tulsa’s Zaven Collins, and Kentucky’s Jamin Davis next in line. It remains to be seen how NFL teams view those linebackers when it comes to where they are selected.
With the Falcons picking fourth overall, Parsons would be the only linebacker the team would potentially take that early. And even so, trading back would be a realistic option if a linebacker is higher on their draft board than other teams around the league.
Jeremiah has Owusu-Koramoah going 17th overall to the Las Vegas Raiders in his most recent mock draft. In total, Jeremiah has three linebackers going in his first round, with Parsons and Davis joining Owusu-Koramoah.
In what looks to be a deep class at linebacker, Owusu-Koramoah believes his modern-era game fits perfectly with the direction the NFL is going.
“I think I’m a great candidate in transitioning to the NFL just because of my attention to detail,” Owusu-Koramoah said. “I think Notre Dame has formed us in a way, specifically in the way coach (Clark) Lea and his philosophy in seeing the world and his philosophy in seeing the game of football in terms of focusing on the smaller details. We always look at the broad picture. But if players can truly focus on the smaller details of the game, the smaller details of their bodies, their mind, even watching film —details, details. A painter can paint a big picture but it’s not going to become a masterpiece until he focuses on the small details.”
AJC’S POSITION-BY-POSITION SERIES
QUARTERBACKS: How far will Justin Fields drop in draft? | Top 10 QBs
RUNNING BACKS: Plenty of prospects to pick from | Top 10 RBs
WIDE RECEIVERS: Draft deep with talent | Top 10 WRs
TIGHT ENDS: Ability to create mismatches is key | Top 10 TEs
OFFENSIVE TACKLES: A ‘nasty’ bunch | Top 10 OTs
OFFENSIVE GUARDS/CENTERS: The men in the middle | Top 10 C/OGs
END RUSHERS: Pass on this draft stock | Top 10 DEs
DEFENSIVE TACKLES: One star among lackluster block | Top 10 DTs
LINEBACKERS: Deep class for position | Top 10 LBs