Levi Onwuzurike Draft Prospect Profile and Scouting Report

Washington DL Levi Onwuzurike is profiled in advance of the 2021 NFL Draft

Name: Levi Onwuzurike

School: Washington

Year: Sr

Position: Defensive Tackle

Measurables: Height 6’ 2 ⅞”, Weight 290 pounds

 

Stats

 

 

General Info

High School

Levi Onwuzurike grew up in Allen, Texas and went to Allen High School. As a junior, was named All-District 6-6A. As a senior in 2015, Onwuzurike racked up 53 tackles and 8.5 sacks, was named 6-6A defensive MVP, first team All-Collin County and honorable mention all-state. Also received the All-Area DPOY from The Dallas Morning News. Four star ranked weak side defensive end by 247Sports. Transitioned inside in college.

College

2017 Academic All-Pac 12 Second Team

2018 Academic All-Pac 12 First Team

2019 All-Pac 12 First Team

 

Positional Skills

 

Strengths

Onwuzurike is lightning quick off the ball, sometimes engaging offensive linemen while his teammates are just getting out of their stance. Strong initial quicks makes him a great fit for teams that like defensive linemen who can attack gaps. He has impressive power at the point of attack and pushes the pocket with a strong hands and great hand placement. Onwuzurike flashes some good extension at the point of attack as well. His motor runs hot all game long, and his lateral quickness is very good for his size.

Against the run, Onwuzurike has great mental alertness and attacks gaps effectively with excellent quickness. He quickly can recognize what gap running backs pick, and has great hand usage to shed blocks and is a great tackler. Onwuzurike also is very much in control of his opponent against the run with excellent placement of his hands inside the shoulder pads. His quickness against the outside run game is impressive, and he can move his feet efficiently while engaged to force running backs back inside. He holds his own against double teams with strong hands, a strong lower half, and good balance. 

As a pass rusher, Onwuzurike heavily relies on the bull rush, but his raw power makes it effective. He flashes a good arm over move and rip to get around linemen, and his ability to convert that quick get off into speed to power is impressive.

Versatility is another big strength of Onwuzurike’s. He primarily lined up as a nose tackle (0tech), but excellent in multiple alignments, from the 2i and 3tech to even as a 5tech defensive end. His athleticism and quickness makes this possible.

 

Weaknesses

The biggest weakness for Onwuzurike right now is his pad level. He’s not often the low man at the point of attack, and that pad level becomes an issue when he tries to win with a straight bull rush. His rush lanes can get a little wild at times, and it would be good to see more counters as a pass rusher moving forward. Winning with raw power and brute strength is rarely a calling card in the NFL. His balance moving laterally can become an issue, as he lunges a bit and will end up on the turf. Lack of length could hinder him slightly. Production may be an issue for some.

 

Fit with the Packers

With the changing of the guard from Mike Pettine to Joe Barry, Levi Onwuzurike still fits very well with what the Packers defense is likely to do. Barry worked with Brandon Staley a lot, using four defensive linemen to attack gaps and still be impactful against the run. He also likes versatile defenders, and Onwuzurike’s ability to create pressure from 0tech, 3tech, and 5tech alignments is a strength. He should be a starter from the get go. Pairing him next to Kenny Clark to create pressure up front by attacking gaps while also being sound against the run is exactly what the Packers will want and need to shore up the middle of that defense.

 

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5 points

Comments (17)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Swisch's picture

February 21, 2021 at 09:36 pm

Levi "Oz" appears to be a great package of quick and powerful and smart.
It seems his quickness is both forward and lateral.
It's such a difficulty, it seems, to get a defensive lineman who is both strong and quick -- and this guy may have that combination, plus high energy.
My sense of things is that Clark's partner on the line must be most of all strong against the run, which seem to be the strength of Levi. He seems the kind of guy who can learn well such things as improving his technique for pass rushing.
***
All things being equal, it seems defensive tackle is our first priority in this draft (unless some amazing cornerback or offensive lineman is available late in the first round, or maybe an inside linebacker).
To get a guy like Levi who can start right away for the Packers in shoring up the middle of the defense is exciting.
I'm looking forward to a Packers defense that is tougher physically, one that is stout in getting to elite status, that cleanly and confidently becomes dominating.

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Turophile's picture

February 22, 2021 at 05:18 am

I agree that a defensive lineman is a top priority in this draft. I think CB is likely to be equally important, but I also think that position has a depth that DL lacks in this draft and can be addressed in round 2 or 3. something like DL OT, CB would be pretty good for boosting the positions that most need it (in calling for a CB, I am assuming the Packers lose Kevin King).

I liked the idea of getting Barmore, but in such a poor year for DTs he is most likely snapped up somewhere in the early 20's by a team that desperately needs help there, and doesn't want to chance a run on them before their next pick. Teams that have given the Packers most trouble in the last couple of years are the Bucs and the 49ers........both of whom have (or had) superb penetrating defensive lines.

Green Bay, who usually draft pretty late in any round, cannot get the multiple high and very high first round picks to use repeatedly on the front 7, like the 49ers did (just look back at who they drafted the last 6 years), but they do have a total stud in Clark, they paid plenty for the Smiths (and safety Amos) which worked very well...... and they took a chance in 2019 on Rashan Gary, one that looks like it is working out fine.

Later picks like those drafted by the Packers had a higher bust factor compared to the 49ers using very early picks, some of which were almost sure-thing picks like Bosa and Buckner (who they had to let go this year because they couldn't afford to keep him). But even their absolute commitment to assemble an elite front 7 defense sometimes backfired on them, like in 2017 when they took first rounders Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster, both disappointments.

I believe Just one good addition to the Packers D line might actually mean the Packers can get to cause havoc themselves, maybe even with a 4 man rush.........and the more pressure you can get on a QB, the less critical the quality of your CBs are.

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murf7777's picture

February 22, 2021 at 08:22 am

Agree with everything you said other than stating they took a chance on Gary. Gary was fully expected to go in the top 15, with some analysts projecting him in the top 10. Sure a couple had him outside of 15. He went in the area of the draft as expected. Under Barry’s scheme they might very well move him to a 3t with occasional 5.

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Turophile's picture

February 22, 2021 at 09:20 am

When I say the Packers took a chance on Gary, I meant that he was not a polished product when they took him. It was his potential, rather than his production that they bet on. I do agree he was taken at about where you would expect, given his ridiculous athleticism.

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murf7777's picture

February 22, 2021 at 12:18 pm

That’s true it was about potential because of his freakish athleticism, not great college stats.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 21, 2021 at 09:49 pm

Ive seen him from late first to mid third, meaning we could maybe get him, or someone comparable, at #63.

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murf7777's picture

February 22, 2021 at 08:10 am

I have mostly seen him go in the late first round. I’d love to see the packers take him, he seems to fit what I suspect will be Barry’s more aggressive one gap scheme. He was all academic two consecutive years as well. Put him next to Clark and they will make our LB’s better. Since the expectation will be more penetrating DL they will need to draft one. I doubt he will be available at #63. If available Barmore would also be a great pick.

You can expect more One ILB with a hybrid safety/lb in his scheme so it wouldn’t surprise me to see one of those drafted in the 3rd round or after.

I’m hoping for the top 3 to 4 picks like this: DL, OT, and hybrid safety/lb or corner with the other going in the 4th. Than address WR and RB.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 22, 2021 at 08:39 am

Murf....who starts at corner?

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murf7777's picture

February 22, 2021 at 08:16 am

Another comment on the DL. If KeKe can take a jump this year he will provide excellent back up with possible starter qualities. Keep our fingers crossed as he has shown to have high upside. He is a potential steal where he was drafted.

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Handsback's picture

February 22, 2021 at 08:22 am

This guy is a perfect fit if Green Bay is asking their tackles to be 1-gap penetrators. If they want 2-gap control...he's not the guy. Since Green Bay has a new DC...we will see what he wants to do.

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PeteK's picture

February 22, 2021 at 10:14 am

Good prospect, but CB and T are higher priorities. We have a stud DT already so we just need to find a nasty hog who can clog up the middle gaps. There are many of those types in the NFL who were drafted in later rounds that can get us 50 or more tkls and stop the run. Jarret-5 round, Hicks-3 , Joseph-Day-6 , Stewart 4 , Jones-4 .

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Leatherhead's picture

February 22, 2021 at 01:23 pm

Agree. We could get a run plugger who’d be an improvement at DT in the third round, for certain.

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stockholder's picture

February 22, 2021 at 11:04 am

Go Big Or Go Home. Size matters. While Levi is a GOOD VALUE pick. I just think we need" bigger" at DT. PAD level is everything with a DT. And The reason Clark was Taken.

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Leatherhead's picture

February 22, 2021 at 01:07 pm

There’s a guy named Alim McNeil who might be a good fit for us, too.

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PeteK's picture

February 23, 2021 at 08:57 am

I just read up on him. That's the kind of warthog we need in the middle.

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SCLI's picture

April 19, 2021 at 05:27 pm

I've been high on him for awhile now. He's my pick. But I don't think he's a Rd one talent. Praying he's available in the 2nd rd.

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The_Justicar's picture

February 24, 2021 at 05:22 am

We have had too many busts from first round pac 12 picks...datone Jones, nick perry, Randall, Kevin king (okay, early second but we traded back from our first round pick to get him), Kenny Clark and Clay Matthew’s worked out but that is a 33% hit rate for our pac 12 picks in rounds 1. I’d prefer some SEC speed and size.

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