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Instant analysis on 5th-round pick Amani Oruwariye

The Lions nabbed a corner in the fifth round — here’s what you need to know about him.

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NCAA Football: Penn State at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions have selected Penn State cornerback Amani Oruwariye with the 146th overall pick in the NFL Draft. Oruwariye is most famous amongst Lions twitter as being a fan favorite this offseason, someone fans expected the Lions to pick in the second round.

The 6’1”, 205-pound cornerback is a tremendous athlete.

Oruwariye fits to a T what the Lions look for in their corners. His ability to play press man coverage will translate well as the Lions look to make their corners into a Stephon Gilmore-esque players. Oruwariye’s length will also come very much in handy in a scheme like that, something that separated him from many of the other press man corners in the draft.

Our own Alex Reno did a profile on Oruwariye leading up to the draft. Here’s what he had to say:

The Lions’ defense ran man-coverage nearly 50 percent of the time last year (fifth-most), compared to around 30 percent of the time in 2017. That’s a pretty huge difference, but not a surprise as Patricia’s defenses have been notorious for their heavy use of man-coverage looks. This didn’t exactly match up with the strengths of some players in the Lions’ secondary, and you saw plenty of struggles throughout the year.

If the front office decides to draft a cornerback early in the draft, then you can expect them to have players with man-coverage experience higher on their board than others. Some key traits to look for here are physicality, fluidity (can they transition smoothly?), enough speed to not get burned (4.55 speed or better is a good benchmark) and the ability to mirror WRs and stick to them like glue. Most of these traits are not something that you can teach. You either have it or you don’t. Amani Oruwariye has all of these.

Oruwariye should be high on the Lions board, and if he somehow manages to make it to their second round pick, I’m not sure there are many, if any prospects that I’m going to consider over him, as I believe he is a perfect fit for Patricia’s defense and one that can step in on Day 1 as a starter.

Oruwariye more than met the athletic benchmarks Reno suggested for him to be successful, and it has Lions fans exuberant about the pick.

And before you ask, his name is pronounced “oh-ruh-war-ee-yay”.


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