Detroit Lions 2021 draft: Instant reactions and grades

Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Levi Onwuzurike, Detroit Lions
Levi Onwuzurike, Detroit Lions (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Round 2 pick 41: Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington

The Lions continued to build through the trenches with their second-round pick, taking the Washington defensive tackle, Levi Onwuzurike.

While a lot of fans (including myself) were pounding the table for Notre Dame’s Jerimiah Owusu-Koramoah, Onwuzurike does fill a need as the Lions desperately need someone who can get some pressure from the inside.

Onwuzurike opted out of the 2020 season, however in the previous three seasons at Washington he racked up 16 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks. While those numbers don’t necessarily pop out at you, rest assured that he is better than those numbers would indicate.

While this is a fairly weak defensive tackle class, Onwuzurike is considered to be the best interior pass rusher and on some big boards, he was slated as a first-rounder. Clearly, Brad Holmes and company valued him highly and decided that he was the right fit to bring to Detroit.

At 6-foot-3, 290 pounds, Onwuzurike looks like he will play the 3-technique in defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn’s scheme. He has a chance to start from the jump, or at the very least be a pass-rush specialist in a similar role to Nick Williams.

Additionally, he had a legendary introductory press conference. The highlight being his statement that he likes to “f*** people up” and “make them feel like s***.”

This isn’t as big of a slam dunk as the Sewell pick was, but this is another pick that brings in a quality player in the trenches that has that grit Dan Campbell is looking for. A solid pick to reinforce the defensive line.

Grade: B