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Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is the best linebacker in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Notre Dame linebacker offers what the New Orleans Saints are looking for, and more.

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Capital One - Alabama v Notre Dame Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Notre Dame product has been picking up steam as of late, and for good reason. You may have only heard Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons name at the top, however I believe that Day 1 of the NFL Draft Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will be the best linebacker.

The New Orleans Saints defense saw a new life in the linebacker room with the addition of Kwon Alexander. Owusu-Koramoah offers everything you get in Alexander and more. He has the pure coverage skills of a defensive back, combined with the tackling skills of a top linebacker. His draft stock ranges all around the first day, mainly due to his size.

At 6’1”, 217 pounds he is in the range of someone that could be both a safety and a linebacker. However, would it really matter if he brings high-level, high-impact play to the defense in New Orleans? Owusu-Koramoah plays at an elite level on the defensive side, that could potentially be available at the end of the first round.

Coverage Ability

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s coverage talent is undeniable. Consistently keeps up with slot receivers at the hip, and that is always something he was tasked with frequently in college. He can easily line up in man coverage against a pass catcher lining up in the slot. He has safety instincts, as he has played that position in the past. He would immediately become the best coverage LB on the roster, and still have the ability to learn from Demario Davis and potentially Kwon Alexander.

Run Defense

Owusu-Koramoah has the football IQ to get into the backfield and take out a runner. However should a ball carrier get past the first level, he has the speed and athleticism to run them down. Lateral mobility and change of direction are things that should never be an issue at the next level.

Tackling

For someone who gets knocked for size as a linebacker, Owusu-Koramoah is one of the most consistent open-field tacklers that I have seen in this class. He also has a trait that I love: knowing when and where to attempt to claw the ball out, many times with success. He is credited with seven pass breakups and five forced fumbles in the two years he played a major role at Notre Dame. He attempts the big-hit tackles at a good rate, but knows when he has to wrap up.

Latest Mock Draft Round-Ups

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com - Round 1, Pick 25 - Jacksonville Jaguars

Dane Brugler, The Athletic - Round 1, Pick 19 - Detroit Lions (trade)

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports - Round 1, Pick 30 - Buffalo Bills

The consensus seems to be later in round one, either in range for the Saints to draft him outright, or even move up slightly to grab a great talent.


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