There’s nothing a Philadelphia sports fan loves more than some good ol’ pandering to our over-the-top, absurd mindset. One NFL Draft prospect that fully gets that is Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Oswusu-Koramoah. In speaking at his Pro Day, JOK mentioned that he had discussions with the Eagles and believe he’s a perfect fit for the Philly culture:
I think I fit better than the other guys in terms of my mentality going back to that. The Eagles is a place that’s a gritty place. You have to have some fierceness to you to survive in Philly. You win in Philly, they love you. If you lose in Philly, they hate you. So you got to be able to deal with that and coming from my background, even here at Notre Dame, you know what I mean? It’s a lot of situations that I had to persevere through and I think that, first and foremost, my mentality prepares me more than some of the other players in terms of in terms of Philly, in terms of my athletic ability, in terms of physicality and point of attack, I’m physical. Physicality in terms of block-shedding. I think I excel in a lot of things if we’re comparing other guys, but in terms of Philly. I think that’s what separates me.
Notre Dame LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah - who is projected to go in Round 1 - was asked about the #Eagles, and he went on to explain why he believes not everyone can play there: "You gotta have some fierceness to you to survive in Philly." @j_owuu pic.twitter.com/9TC5YwMva8— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) March 31, 2021
I’m simping for comments like that. He took a page out of Bryce Harper’s book.
There are few people who are bigger anti-linebacker in Round 1 than me, but would drafting Owusu-Koramoah make sense?
Kyle Crabbs from The Draft Network has him 15th on his Big Board. Dane Brugler from The Athletic has him 14th. ESPN’s Todd McShay also has JOK 14th.
He’ll likely be there at 12, but for a team so against drafting a linebacker in the first round, as the Eagles infamously haven’t done so since 1979, I’d bank on the team not grabbing him there.
If he somehow fell to 37, where I am more than comfortable selecting a linebacker and think they NEED to take on Day 2, make the call as quick as you can. That’s unlikely, but perhaps if he begins to slide in the first round, the Eagles would consolidate some of their 11 picks, the most of any team this year, to go up and grab a linebacker they truly love (the same, of course, could be said of Penn State’s Micah Parsons).
As for what the Eagles should be looking for in a modern linebacker, JOK fits the bill. He is almost safety-like in his coverage ability. Now, he wouldn’t work as a true safety in the Cover 2 system that defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon will likely be bringing with him from Indianapolis, but he’s an ideal linebacker for it. I think back to the way Brian Urlacher, a converted safety, was used in the Tampa 2 for some of those great Chicago Bears defenses in the 2000s. That’s the rover role JOK could play.
I doubt we end up seeing JOK in midnight green, but I respect his admiration for what makes Philly such a special place. It should come as no surprise, as Owusu-Koramoah is a graduate of Bethel High School in Virginia. You may have heard of their most famous alum: Allen Iverson.