vs. Utah ('19), vs. USC ('19), WSU ('19), vs Cal 19
Onwuzurike has good vertical burst off the line and everything he does is built off of the space he can create. Splits blocks early and consistently shoots gaps to make plays in the backfield. Plays through blocks in the run game, times his block sheds well and has lateral quickness that allows him to plug gaps quick. His pass rush moves includes: swim, long arm, pull and rip, and the occasional spin move. He also stunted a lot which, combined with his different alignments, shows how versatile and agile he is. Consistent and quick with hand placement, getting them right to the shoulder plate of lineman, off the snap.
Pad level can ride too high for Levi and that's when you see him lose his explosiveness and losses to the more disciplined opposing lineman. Not a 2 gap defender and has difficulty defeating double teams when done properly. Anchoring ability is an issue and that's likely because he doesn't sink as far into his base as he could. Rarely plays every down of drives, which is because Washington rotates heavily, but makes it difficult to assess if he gets tired quickly. Has issues sticking to rush lane and deviates too quickly, causing holes in the front.
Out of Washington, Levi Onwuzurike has established himself as one of the top interior defensive lineman in the 2021 draft. He provides a set of skills that is sought after heavily by the NFL that culminates in desired pass rush coming from the interior. Taking snaps all over the place (0T, 1T, 2T, 3T, 6T, stand up and hand in the dirt), Levi was able to show his versatility and ability to make plays regardless of who he lined up across from. Realistically though, Levi projects best as a 3T or 4i, in a 3-4 DE/ 4-3 DT. But he showed a clear reduction in play when he was asked to play primarily as a two gap defender.
Onwuzurike is freakishly athletic for his size and position. He moves extremely well laterally and can cover a lot of ground along the way. He has good ankle flexion but struggles while maintaining balance throughout the duration of the play. Could see more balance if he sinks further into his frame and legs. He is very explosive both out of his stance but also does a good job of converting speed to power quickly. He plays strong but doesn't lean into it as much as he could.
Pass Rush Ability:
Big Play Ability
Use of Hands
Pass Rush Moves
Usually the first player out of their stance, Onwuzurike has a very quick get off and that pairs well with his hand usage. Brings his hands to every engagement. He manufactures a lot of leverage with his mobility and hands. He operates well in space meaning he can play both inside and out. Utilizes a number of moves including a long arm, spin, swim, and rip. He generally does a good job at mixing his approaches as well as not tipping them. Finishes well enough around the QB but after the play breaks down and he needs to counter and react to the lineman set, he doesn't have as easy of a time pressuring.
Against The Run:
Onwuzurike's pad level can ride a little high at times so that can put him at a disadvantage with interior lineman who are firing off the ball at him. But when he is on the attack, he is very difficult to block. he sets up and reads the backfield well. Peaks over blocks and sheds quickly to make plays on the ball carrier. His quick hands and feet make it look effortless. Does have some concerns with gap integrity but overall maintains it in the run. Most of his issues happened when he worked as a nose tackle but doesn't project to play there in the NFL. He shoots gaps quickly off the snap while shrinking his pads and getting between blockers. He is a good tackle that can make plays off his base and contort his body to play the ball carrier.
Play with Leverage
Stack and Shed
Gap Shooting Ability
No doubt Onwuzurike is a tough competitor but he does show some limits. He had some concerns with not finishing off drives. When on the field, he plays with a high motor and when playing in his natural position, he is very consistent. He is disruptive beyond belief at times as he can work through lineman who have heavy hands and aren't patient enough.
Has good awareness of what's going on around him. His play recognition got better in 2019 but still had issues identifying screens too late. Played all over the place in college, as a 0-Tech, 3-Tech, 5-Tech and even played as a standup end at times. His athleticism for his size and position is very rare and he showed great willingness to play all over the place.