Could Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah be Dolphins' secret weapon?

Joe Schad
Palm Beach Post
View Comments
Oct 26, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Hassan Haskins (25) leaps over Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (6) in the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

If the Dolphins draft Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah of Notre Dame tonight, they'd be adding an outside linebacker, inside linebacker, slot corner and box safety.

Yes, the team drafting Owusu-Koramoah could fill any or all of those roles with one player, in any game. The man they call "JOK" is the ultimate weapon.

"That kind of duality I think is what NFL teams are looking for as the league progresses to more of a pass league," Owusu-Koramoah said.

Owusu-Koramoah is 6-foot-1, 221 pounds, which is not very big for a linebacker. But he is an incredible athlete, one of the most intriguing and explosive in the draft.

"Freak," Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book said.

Schad's 5 Things to Know:Florida tight end Kyle Pitts

Schad's 5 Things to Know:LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase

Schad's 5 Things to Know:Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith

In 25 Notre Dame games, Owusu-Koramoah had 142 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks and a handful of game-changing forced turnovers.

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah participates in Notre Dame's Pro Day workout on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)

"When I step on the field, my attitude kind of differs from others, just willing to attack, willing to be physical, willing to take chances, willing to make plays, a fierce competitor," Owusu-Koramoah said.

The Dolphins will surely consider a running back or offensive lineman tonight. But one must consider that if coach Brian Flores sees Owusu-Koramoah as an ultimate Swiss Army knife, he just may plead for him.

"His athletic traits, versatility and playmaking demeanor give him a chance to become the most impactful defender in this draft," writes Lance Zierlein of

"Versatile, rangy, fast and instinctive," says Todd McShay of ESPN.

Owusu-Koramoah can stay on the field for all three downs. He could help fill a blitzing role once held by cut Kyle Van Noy. He could help Miami cover tight ends like Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith (New England, somehow, has both.)

Flores and defensive coordinator Josh Boyer could basically use Owusu-Koramoah as the ultimate matchup chess piece.

"I saw a stat where somebody counted my snaps," Owusu-Koramoah said. "I played 600 plus snaps out in the slot and about 450 plus snaps in the box."

Owusu-Koramoah didn't run a 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, due to tightness. But he has been tested as the best Notre Dame football player in vertical jump, broad jump and squat. Basically, his testing is off the charts.

And Owusu-Koramoah is highly intelligent, too. As a youth, he reportedly posted a 1310 SAT, and he is very impressive in interview sessions.

Asked about the pre-draft process, Owusu-Koramoah marveled at the benefits of having trained with fellow high draft choices Ja'Marr Chase and Najee Harris.

"It’s been a beautiful process, monumental, something you’ll always remember," Owusu-Koramoah said. "The process is full of wonders, full of new things, you have to adjust to. The adjustment has been great, I’ve grown mentally, physically, even spiritually."

Owusu-Koramoah said the best question he's gotten was about culture. It seems obvious any team adding him would be adding to their positive culture.

"I’ve been kind of using that as one of my questions for teams: 'What’s your culture?' " he said. "I thought that was a beautiful question because if you ask somebody what do you mean by culture it has to allow them to dig deeper to come up with something outside the football realm but also including football. It’s a beautiful question to me."

6 for 6:Top 6 Miami Dolphins options for Pick 6 in NFL Draft

Owusu-Koramoah has been compared to safety Derwin James of the Chargers. He likes the comparison to linebacker Deon Jones of the Falcons.

"He’s a smaller linebacker but he’s speedy, he’s instinctive," Owusu-Koramoah said of Jones. "He’s a player who really knows the game. When I watch him on third downs sometimes, he might be in the middle or on the edge and he does a lot of back-dropping out of different things within that Falcons defense. That’s kind of the new player I’ve modeled after."

NFL Draft

April 29-May 1

Cleveland; ESPN; NFL Network

View Comments