Buffalo Bills 2021 NFL Draft Prospect to Know: DT Levi Onwuzurike
There isn’t a clear-cut direction the Buffalo Bills could take in the first round and it appears defensive tackle is one that is certainly in play. According to Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network, he mentioned the Buffalo Bills as a team that is targeting Levi Onwuzurike out of the University of Washington. Let’s take a closer look at his profile and how he might with the Buffalo Bills.
Weight: 290 pounds
Levi Onwuzurike played in 34 games over three seasons for the Huskies before opting out of the 2020 season. During that stretch, Onwuzurike had 95 total tackles, 16 total tackles, and seven sacks. The last season he played, in 2019, he finished with 45 total tackles, six tackles for a loss and two sacks.
NFL.com Scouting Report by Lance Zierlein
"Considered by some scouts as a “flash” prospect with high-end moments on tape, but a lack of sustained excellence and production. Onwuzurike is undersized for his position but he’s very strong for his size with the ability to anchor down against interior blockers. He’s very physical and flashes moments where he is able to control and overwhelm single blocks. An explosive first step provides early momentum into the neutral zone, but he failed to post the high-end production that is usually associated with that interior trait. He’s light on his feet but heavy with his hands, and that combination should lead to continued improvement as an NFL pass rusher. If he can play with the same grit we saw against Oregon and USC in 2019, Onwuzurike has a chance to become a disruptive starter in an attacking front."
How he fits with the Buffalo Bills
If the Buffalo Bills want to get more of a pass rush from their defensive tackles this coming season then Levi Onwuzurike would make sense. He is undersized like Zierlein notes but he also does a good job of getting penetration and playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage.
The question is how does he fit on this defense when considering the Buffalo Bills essentially already have that player in Ed Oliver. They drafted Oliver in the Top 10 of the 2019 NFL Draft and is a player who should be getting more playing time moving forward.
However, the Bills do like to rotate defensive linemen frequently and they could view Onwuzurike as that player to rotate with Oliver but then line them both up on the field together in passing situations.
While the addition of Levi Onwuzurike may not be immediately clear, the addition of him to this defense should help the Buffalo Bills improve their pass rush when they send only their front four.