The Detroit Lions believe they have made a great pick in the 2021 NFL Draft when they selected Levi Onwuzurike in the second-round a few weeks back, and many think they could have landed a steal with the tough defender.
One such person is former Lions’ defensive lineman Lawrence Jackson. After the draft, Jackson admitted to having caught up on some tape of Onwuzurike and really enjoying what he saw. As he said, he believes Detroit’s new defensive lineman is primed to play a huge role for the team and the Lions may have gotten the next great defensive lineman when they picked him up in the draft.
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Here’s Jackson’s tweet about the matter:
The more I watch Levi the more I feel like the @Lions have the next great DT in the @NFL explosion, hands, footwork, hips, toe turn and versatile. Seems like he’s going to get at least 5-8 sacks per year minimum. I realllly like this pick. Especially in the 2nd round. #Steal
— Lawrence Jackson (@LoJackson94) May 1, 2021
That’s some strong praise for Onwuzurike, but Jackson would know. After all, he played defensive line for a long time in the league and knows what it takes to play the position well. It will take some time for Onwuzurike to adjust to the NFL, but once he does, he could be the next great defender.
Lions Defensive Line
If there was a spot on the Detroit roster that should have been primed for some sort of upgrade, it was the defensive line. The Lions lacked depth in the middle, but adding Onwuzurike and Alim McNeill will help that in a big way. The deeper the Lions get in the middle of the line, the better off they will be in terms of getting better presence on the outside as well as depth.
If Onwuzurike was to be able to become a star, that would be a huge development for the Lions and their defensive line depth up front. Already, the depth has been upgraded, which is good to know ahead of a season in which the Lions have to get tougher up front on defense for a complete turnaround.
Onwuzurike Stats and Highlights
The Lions needed some major help in the trenches and Onwurzurike can theoretically provide it. He collected 95 tackles in his time in college to go with 16 tackles for-loss and 7 sacks. Onwurzurike opted out of the 2020 season, but he showed well in 2019 when he last played. Teams looking to draft Onwuzurike were likely looking at his ability to be physical and tough in the trenches and develop into a great player in the middle.
In Detroit, Onwuzurike can be expected to fit in well with Michael Brockers and the team’s front at tackle. A look at the tape shows the kind of twitch and athleticism that folks love, which is likely just what Jackson sees as well.
The Lions hope he can develop into a stud up front for the team as many expect. It’s fair to assume he will pair perfectly with some of the other players and could even elevate the game for the entire group as a whole on the defensive line.
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