Packers.com consulted more than a dozen mock drafts from reputable national outlets and compiled a list of players most frequently mocked as draft selections in the bottom third of the first round (picks 20-32).
Between now and draft day, when the Packers are slated to select at No. 29 overall, those players will be profiled with thumbnail sketches in a new series entitled "Draft Digest."
Today's player is …
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Height/Weight: 6-1, 215
Key stats: Over the past two seasons, compiled 142 tackles, 24 ½ tackles for loss, seven sacks, one interception, seven passes defensed, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries, one for a TD.
College honors: Selected a consensus first-team All-American in 2020, as well as the winner of the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker and a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award. Also named Atlantic Coast Conference defensive player of the year.
Background: The Hampton, Va., native played multiple positions on both sides of the ball in the prep ranks, and was a basketball star to boot (Bethel was Allen Iverson's high school, too), before a late commitment to Notre Dame led to national stardom a few years later. Owusu-Koramoah was without question one of the best defensive players in the country last season. He's an explosive athlete with speed and both tackling and coverage ability. The only real question is whether he fits best in an NFL defense at linebacker, safety, or some sort of hybrid position. Finding the right way to unleash and maximize his talents against both run and pass will be a welcome, and important, task for whatever team selects him. Much the same was said of two impressive players in last year's draft, Clemson's Isaiah Simmons (first round, Arizona) and Southern Illinois' Jeremy Chinn (second round, Carolina).
Potential fit with Packers: The Packers have two second-year players, Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin, as their top two inside linebackers right now, plus two established starters at safety in Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage. If Owusu-Koramoah's size isn't too big a hindrance to play linebacker, he could compete for a starting job there right away, but probably not at safety. In any event, neither position is flush with depth, and there's no telling how new defensive coordinator Joe Barry might deploy a hybrid player like Owusu-Koramoah in sub-packages. If Barry's inclinations are anything like his predecessor's, there's a place and plenty of playing time for a defender like this.