In the coming weeks and months I will be breaking down potential prospects for the Dallas Cowboys to determine their strengths, weaknesses, and potential fit with the organization. Today, I want to take a look at former Washington Huskies Defensive Tackle Levi Onwuzurike, who could be in play for the Cowboys on Day 2 in the 2021 NFL Draft.
NAME: Levi Onwuzurike
POSITION: Defensive Tackle
CLASS: RS Senior
JERSEY: No. 95
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
Allen, Texas native Levi Onwuzurike now #9 is a 1st Round Talent returning to SEATTLE for his SR season!
Levi Onwuzurike played in 34 career games in his three years at Washington before deciding to opt out his senior season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Onuwzurike is a versatile interior defensive lineman who is best suited to play in a 4-3 defensive scheme as a 3-tech, but has the ability to play the 1-tech as well. He plays with good power and strength at the point of attack and does an excellent job using his length to keep offensive lineman from getting into his chest. Has an explosive first step and fires out of his stance at the snap of the ball. Disruptive as both a run defender and pass rusher. Difficult to block one-on-one due to his athleticism. Relentless motor, doesn’t take any plays off. Has good sideline to sideline range. Good hand fighter making it difficult for lineman to get a hand on him.
Being a 2020 COVID opt-out is the biggest and arguably the only red flag for Levi Onwuzurike. Everything else can be improved upon with more development. He has tremendous upside, but is far from a finished product. Playing with proper pad level on a consistent basis could be improved upon. Has a tendency to stand to upright which allows offensive lineman to wash him out of the play at times. Needs to develop his pass rush repertoire. May need to add some weight/muscle to his frame to be in every down player. As such may need a year or two of seasoning before he can be counted on as a full-time starter.
The Dallas Cowboys are in desperate need of upgrading their defensive line at some point in the offseason. They were one of the worst defenses against the run in 2020 for a reason and finding players to prevent that from happening in 2021 is a must. Adding a player like Levi Onwuzurike would be a step in the right direction. He has the potential to be one of those disrupting/penetrating DTs Dan Quinn prefers along his defensive front.
Onwuzurike’s versatility to play up and down the defensive line would be an added plus for the Dallas Cowboys. Despite being a little undersized he can play the 1-tech due to his strength and ability to anchor down against the run. He’s also more than capable of playing as a 3-tech as well. That kind of versatility could be invaluable. Add him to the mix with Dallas’ young, talented DTs Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore and the Cowboys DL suddenly has a promising future.