Lions take edge rusher Julian Okwara in 3rd round

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The Detroit Lions selected defensive end Julian Okwara out of Notre Dame in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 67th overall.

Okwara now joins his brother, Romeo, on the Lions. The brothers each played for the Fighting Irish before making it pro.

Prospect Profile

School: Notre Dame
Height: 6-4
Weight: 252 lbs

Positives

  • Long frame with impressive overall athleticism
  • Good first step with speed to get upfield and press the edge
  • Dips and rips around outside and bends to flatten to QB
  • Quick swipe on inside move to clear hands of OT
  • Converts speed to power with good long-arm move
  • Great closing speed, finishing ability and effort to attack ball
  • Shoots gaps to make plays in backfield vs. run
  • Capable dropping back into coverage

Negatives

  • Needs to develop reliable counters to edge speed
  • Lacks bulk and strength for every-down edge role
  • Not able to hold ground vs. downhill run blocks
  • Struggles to disengage when blocked early in the down
  • Recovering from broken leg suffered in November

Bottom line

Okwara's your classic speed-rusher who should pose a significant threat to the outside in his pro career, but unlocking his ceiling as a pass-rusher will be a matter of developing reliable counter moves working off what he does best. Okwara will need to get stronger before he can handle offensive tackles in the run game, so he's best suited either aligned out wide as a 3-4 outside linebacker or sticking to situational pass-rush duties early on.

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Lions take edge rusher Julian Okwara in 3rd round
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