The Detroit Lions were surprised when Washington defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike wasn’t selected in the first round, and when he still on the board at pick No. 41, they didn’t waste any time making him their selection.
“He’s been one of my favorite players in the Draft,” Lions general manager Brad Holmes said of Onwuzurike. “We did make some attempts to get back up there and then obviously, it didn’t fall through, and then we made some attempts earlier. We made a few attempts to get him, but it’s just sometimes the Draft gods smile on you a little bit and bless you with what you were wanting.”
So what made Onwuzurike so appealing to Holmes?
“When I refreshed on his film for the first time last fall during his opt-out and watching basically the whole season on him and that’s when I really, really appreciated his explosiveness and how fast he was,” Holmes continued. “He’s a kid that he can really run for a big man that’s 295 pounds. There’s some plays on tape where he’s just really just chasing down guys to the perimeter and from the backside.”
Sounds like fun right? We’ve already read about what Onwuzurike brings to the Lions, but seeing is believing, so let’s check out some of these traits Holmes identified in examining his college highlights.
Let’s start the hype with the in house video produced by the Lions and University of Washington:
Washington iDL Levi Onwuzurike playing 0-tech. Explodes into the reach block, reads the puller, stays tight through the gap, gets the TFL. That’ll do. pic.twitter.com/jLGfU950oo
— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) February 3, 2021
Levi Onwuzurike is long and heavy handed! Great at disrupting with hand placement/resetting LOS… Covers a lot of ground when he disengages
Ready for him to stay on the field more and dominate in 2020… pic.twitter.com/ADVbHc329S
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) July 24, 2020
Game cut-ups, breakdowns
Onwuzurike is also a solid interview. We’ve all see his first one with the Detroit media, but there were several others that are worth taking look at.
Lions second round pick, DT Levi Onwuzurike:
“I like f—ing people up. I like to get off the line and put my helmet and hands on an offensive lineman and f— up an offensive scheme. I like pushing them back two, three yards and just making them feel like s—.” pic.twitter.com/9bqtp6AnOe
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) May 1, 2021
Path to the draft
And finally, Onwuzurike has an 8-part Path to the Draft series on his YouTube Channel. Here’s a glimpse via Episode 1: