Cleveland Browns draft grade: A+
If the Cleveland Browns first-round selection of Greg Newsome II was a home run, this second-round selection was a grand slam. After being rumored as a potential pick for the team in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Browns traded up seven spots in the second round to steal Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
Many evaluators pre-draft believed that there was a good chance that do-it-all defender Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah would be off the board when the Cleveland Browns came on the clock with their 26th overall pick. After being considered with that pick, “JOK” fell to the middle of the second round.
Sitting at pick 59, general manager Andrew Berry felt compelled to make a move up to grab the talented Swiss-army knife, even as part of any analytical front office that typically doesn’t value linebackers that highly.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is much more than just a linebacker. He does pretty much everything that you for in a defensive player. He is a hybrid player who can line up nearly anywhere on the field and will be effective in every facet of the game.
At Notre Dame, JOK typically lined up off-set of the line of scrimmage in a “big nickel” role in the slot. This allowed him to gain experience in man coverage against wide receivers and tight ends, zone coverage underneath, taking on blocks in run support and as a blitzer off the edge.
Under defensive coordinator Joe Woods, Owusu-Koramoah could fill a very similar role. Woods often deploys five defensive backs and two linebackers, and he could really be called either. They could have him play behind the line of scrimmage as a linebacker or split out in his nickel role towards the perimeter.
The Cleveland Browns defense has improved greatly this offseason. Not only on the line with pass rushers Jadeveon Clowney and Tak McKinley but in the secondary. They have added many versatile pieces that can do multiple things on each and every snap. With Owusu-Koramoah, Grant Delpit (after missing all of last season), John Johnson III, Ronnie Harrison, Anthony Walker and Troy Hill, the Browns defense will keep opposing offenses guessing play after play.
As a perceived second first-round pick at pick 52 in the second round, the selection of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah gets an “A+”. The Browns just moved down from pick 89 to pick 113 to go up and snag a guy that should make a huge impact for the team right away.