Romeo Okwara signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame ahead of the 2016 NFL season. While his career in New York ultimately fizzled out after two years with the team, that hasn’t stopped the franchise from entertaining the idea of snagging Romeo’s younger brother in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft.
Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, recently held a phone conversation with now-Detroit Lion Romeo Okwara to discuss his younger brother and 2020 NFL Draft prospect, Julian Okwara, who is also a South Bend product.
According to Leonard, Romeo’s former team, the New York Giants, is one of “a ton” of teams that have shown interest in the former Notre Dame standout ahead of next week’s draft.
Okwara in Play For Giants Atop Round 2
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in this year’s draft season, limiting the communication that teams and potential draft fits can have ahead of draft day. The Giants are no different, and from what’s been reported they have not held a meeting with Julian Okwara as of today.
However, that doesn’t mean New York isn’t eyeing the 6-foot-4-inch, nearly 250-pound edge rusher out of Notre Dame. While Julian’s older brother was a developmental undrafted free agent who eventually blossomed into a 7.5 sack guy for the Lions a few years down the road, Julian’s potential is lightyears ahead of Romeo’s.
Julian is a long-limbed, lanky edge rusher, who showed his true talents in his junior season with the Fighting Irish, compiling eight sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss over 13 games. Unfortunately, Okwara’s production took a hit in his senior season as he was bitten by the injury bug, playing in just nine games and recording four sacks.
Still, his natural burst off the edge and ability to make plays in the backfield (33% of his tackles went for a loss in college) have made him a fringe day one, early day two prospect on most boards.
Okwara would add an instant influx of talent to a Giants edge position that is hungry for playmakers. As of now, free-agent signee Kyler Fackrell is by far the most productive pass-rusher that New York has to employ. While Lorenzo Carter still has the potential to break out in his third NFL season, Okwara would likely step in day one as the Giants’ most talented edge defender.
Okwara Has No Ill-Will Towards the Giants
As far as how things turned out for Julian’s brother in New York, he holds no grudges, evident by his comments to Newsday in late February of this year.
The Giants are a team that gave him a chance. That’s the reason he’s with the Lions right now. He could have not been on a team. So I’m grateful to them for giving him an opportunity and hopefully it opens up a door for me.
Whatever happened to him, in this league, you can bounce around from team to team. You have to work and be humble and hope to see the game the next day. You can get cut at any time. I’m not holding a grudge against them. It happens. It’s football.
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