Will the Detroit Lions’ newest defensive end, Julian Okwara, play better than his brother?
In the NFL draft back in April, the Detroit Lions decided to take defensive end Julian Okwara with the 67th overall pick in the third round. Most Lions’ fans are familiar with his brother who currently plays for Detroit, defensive end Romeo Okwara. He has played well for the Lions so far even though considering his play slipped a little bit last year.
Romeo Okwara entered the league in 2016 as an undrafted free agent. He was signed by the New York Giants and played very sparingly for two years. He was waived by the Giants in 2018 and the Lions claimed him a day later.
Even with missing all of training camp in 2018, Romeo Okwara still went on to lead Detroit with 7.5 sacks in 2018. He also had 39 combined tackles, and 14 quarterback hits in 15 games. The following year in 2019, Romeo played in 14 games but only started in one while only playing 53% of defensive snaps and increased special teams snaps up to 18%.
How does new Detroit Lion Julian Okwara compare to his brother Romeo?
Romeo Okwara stands 6 foot 4 inches and 263 pounds, with Julian Okwara very similar to him at 6-foot-4 and 252 pounds. Julian is just a bit leaner but since he did not participate in the NFL combine this spring, due to his leg injury, we can’t just compare numbers.
You can look at his prior stats though. In 2018, Julian has a total of 8.0 sacks, one interception and one force fumble in only 13 games. If you compare that to Romeo’s stats the same year, Julian beat his brother in almost every stat category other than tackles. Even the following year in 2019 Julian recorded 5.0 sacks and one forced fumble in only nine games.
According to paper some could argue that Julian Okwara will be a better player than his brother Romeo, so long as he can stay healthy. Especially considering Julian was originally projected as first round pick before his injury dropped him to the Detroit Lions in the third round and Romeo was an undrafted free agent.
Either way it is going to benefit both of them to be able to play with one another. Especially considering Romeo Okwara has been here since the beginning of the head coach Matt Patricia era for the Detroit Lions and understands exactly what type of scheme they are trying to make.
Julian Okwara has been living with his brother Romeo since the draft, and has stated that he’s always wanted to play with his older brother. They’ve been bonding and learning the play book together. I do believe that when all is said and done that Julian will have the better overall career, if he can stay healthy. That’s the biggest question. But no matter what, they will both benefit from playing with each other for the Detroit Lions and hopefully and huge career going forward.