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:
Doing a quick refresher on #PurpleReign DT Levi Onwuzurike. Yeah these plays just pop off the tape. Every game. He is something else. Love watching him play. Outstanding range and competitiveness #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/0zjGTw2X2M— Fran Duffy (@EaglesXOs) February 16, 2021
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 could make sense for the Bucs at 32. pic.twitter.com/qCsJfhr4zj— JC Cornell (@CornellNFL) April 9, 2021
Levi Onwuzurike will toss bodies around.... pic.twitter.com/PwDIOUqcoz— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) August 19, 2019
Levi Onwuzurike is long and heavy handed! Great at disrupting with hand placement/resetting LOS... Covers a lot of ground when he disengages— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) July 24, 2020
Ready for him to stay on the field more and dominate in 2020... pic.twitter.com/ADVbHc329S
The quickness and play strength from Levi Onwuzurike are pretty good pic.twitter.com/Y3i2qjMjb8— Tyler Forness (@TheRealForno) February 19, 2021
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:— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) May 1, 2021
"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
What goes through Levi Onwuzurike's mind when he's setting up a pass-rush? pic.twitter.com/aMluez7MXH— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 21, 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: