Defensive end Julian Okwara, selected by the Detroit Lions in the third round, is one of 10 players who could prove to be a “steal” of the 2020 NFL Draft, according to Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus.
“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,” Renner writes. “Pass-rushers like Okwara usually get overdrafted, not underdrafted. And he is one of the most explosive edge rushers in the entire draft class.”
Okwara, the bother of Lions defensive end Romeo Okwara, had eight sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss during his junior season at Notre Dame. As a senior he was limited to nine games before the broken leg. He had five sacks and generated pressure on the quarterback 32 times on 202 pass-rushing snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.
Renner continues: “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.”
Go here for a breakdown of all 10 of Renner’s potential hidden gems of the 2020 draft (pay site).