Analyst Hypes Lions’ Julian Okwara as Draft’s Most Explosive Rusher

Julian Okwara

Getty Julian Okwara rushing the passer for Notre Dame.

The Detroit Lions have had what most feel is a very solid NFL Draft, and a big reason why is some of the steals they might have found in the middle rounds. Perhaps the biggest one might be edge rusher Julian Okwara.

According to ESPN, Okwara is already one of the biggest steals of the entire draft class. The site, with the help of Pro Football Focus writer Michael Renner, took a look at naming some of 2020’s top steals and Okwara fit the billing as such a name for the Lions.

Renner said:

“A broken leg toward the end of last season torpedoed any sort of first-round hype, but it’s doubtful he’d have slipped out of the top 50 picks had he turned up to the scouting combine at 100 percent. Pass-rushers like Okwara usually get overdrafted, not underdrafted. And he is one of the most explosive edge rushers in the entire draft class.

At only 252 pounds, Okwara has bull-rush pressures on tape against 350-pound Georgia tackle Isaiah Wilson and 370-pound Louisville behemoth Mekhi Becton — both of whom were first-rounders. Okwara was sixth in the country with 61 pressures as a junior and followed it up with a 90.4 pass-rushing grade last season. The Lions get an edge rusher who is not only productive but also has the perfect versatility for their scheme.”

Okwara has been lauded as a potential steal for the Lions by PFF in another piece, and it’s clear the site is high on what he can do for the team off the edge. It’s true the Lions need big help rushing the passer and Okwara could certainly provide that for the team.

Whether or not he can take the next step remains to be seen, but it’s obvious that most are high on the underrated prospect doing just that in the long run.


Julian Okwara Joins Romeo Okwara in Detroit

This duo will now be rushing the passer up front for the Lions, and they will be doing so together, which is something huge to note for brothers. In the moment the pick was revealed for the Lions on Friday night, the pair shared a warm moment when it was revealed they would be playing together with the team on the same NFL roster.

Even though he will have to deal with his brother beating him up and likely helping his adjustment to the league, Okwara is still excited he gets to come to Detroit. The reason? It’s as good as any for a human being just looking to try and save a bit of money. Julian is about to crash on Romeo’s couch and be a houseguest for a while, and it’s clear he can’t wait and is not prepared to pay rent.

Hopefully, the duo will get along and there will be no hijinks. Theoretically, it should figure to be a huge advantage to have your brother get to show you the NFL ropes. It could help make for a much smoother adjustment to the league for the younger Okwara, as he begins his journey to the next step.


Julian Okwara Stats

Brothers are now teamed up in this scenario, as the Lions currently have Romeo Okwara on their roster to rush the passer up front. Julian is no slouch, however, and will give the Lions some immediate pass rush punch off the edge. The team figures to be in the market for edge players this offseason, but Okwara’s length and ability to disrupt could prove huge, as could the possible comfy fit with the Lions.

During his time with Notre Dame prior to injury, Okwara was very productive for the team. 79 tackles, 15.5 career sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions show a player who can do a lot to blow up a game and disrupt. That’s just what the Lions have needed in a big way.

Those facts could prove him a major steal in the end.

READ NEXT: Draft Expert Bashes Lions 2020 Draft Class


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