One of the biggest surprises of last weekend’s 2021 NFL Draft, was the fall of former Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. The 2020 ACC Defensive Player of the Year didn’t come off of the board until the second round, when the Cleveland Browns picked him at No. 52 overall.
It was quite the fall for Owusu-Koramoah who at one point was ESPN’s 12th ranked prospect in the 2021 draft class. He boasts a unique combination of size and speed and also had a stellar senior season at Notre Dame. He racked up 62 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, 1.5 sacks and an interception on his way to becoming a unanimous All-American.
But, new details were reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday as to why Owusu-Koramoah fell so far over the weekend. According to the NFL insider, the rookie linebacker had a heart issue late in the process, sparking concern amongst interested teams.
“Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had a heart issue that came up late in the process and was a concern for most teams, which is why he fell out of the first round and to pick No. 52 with Cleveland, per sources. Doctors ultimately cleared Owusu-Koramoah but it did contribute to him falling,” Schefter tweeted on Monday evening.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had a heart issue that came up late in the process and was a concern for most teams, which is why he fell out of the first round and to pick No. 52 with Cleveland, per sources. Doctors ultimately cleared Owusu-Koramoah but it did contribute to him falling.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 3, 2021
Thankfully, doctors cleared Owusu-Koramoah and the Browns found it worthwhile to draft him late in the second round. Hopefully, the rookie linebacker will be able to stay healthy moving forward.
The next step for the Browns will be to figure out how to plug Owusu-Koramoah into their defensive scheme. The 21-year-old weighs just 214 pounds, which would make him a small linebacker by NFL standards. Draft analysts hypothesized that he could play a hybrid role, or make a full switch to safety.
With his skill and his speed, Owusu-Koramoah should be able to succeed wherever he plays in Cleveland, so long as he stays healthy.