The Detroit Lions signed a few members of their 2021 NFL Draft class a month ago, but it’s been quiet on the signing front ever since that point.
That ended on Thursday with news that the team had finally signed defensive lineman Levi Onwuzurike to his rookie contract. The team revealed that they had come to terms with Onwuzurike with a tweet on Thursday morning, bringing another key rookie into the fold for good. It will be a standard four-year rookie deal for Onwuzurike.
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Onwuzurike celebrated the news with a post on his own Twitter account.
So far, Onwuzurike joins the ranks of Penei Sewell, Alim McNeill and Jermar Jefferson as draft picks the team officially has under contract. More could be expected to be revealed in the weeks ahead. For now, though, it’s good to see that the Lions have managed to get both of their young defensive tackles into the mix.
Aaron Glenn Called Out Onwuzurike
A big soundbite when the former Washington defender came to town was his toughness. Onwuzurike promised in very explicit terms that he was in Detroit to kick some behind and take some names. It made for a good draft soundbite, but now that the draft is over, what happens next?
Defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn wants to make sure there is absolutely no let up from Onwuzurike, and he made that very clear during his meeting with the media before the team’s OTA session. As Glenn said, he wants to see the fight that Onwuzurike promised on tape, and wants players who can get after it just as Onwuzurike described.
Challenge issued, but will it be accepted? Hopefully so. Regardless, it’s great to see a staff member encouraging a player to put his money where his mouth is.
Onwuzurike Stats and Highlights
The Lions needed some major help in the trenches and Onwurzurike can theoretically provide it. He collected 95 tackles in his time in college to go with 16 tackles for-loss and 7 sacks. Onwurzurike opted out of the 2020 season, but he showed well in 2019 when he last played. Teams looking to draft Onwuzurike were likely looking at his ability to be physical and tough in the trenches and develop into a great player in the middle.
In Detroit, Onwuzurike can be expected to fit in well with Michael Brockers and the team’s front at tackle. A look at the tape shows the kind of twitch and athleticism that folks love.
The Lions hope he can develop into a stud up front for the team as many expect. He’s already looking like a stud in terms of his mindset and motivation on the field, and it’s excellent to see he has stepped up by getting the business side of things squared away.