The Browns stopped Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah‘s draft-weekend slide, selecting him in the second round. More than a month later, the linebacker prospect signed his four-year rookie deal.
A reported heart issue is believed to have contributed to Osuwu-Koramoah’s fall to No. 52, but concerns appear to have been overblown. The former Notre Dame standout has been medically cleared and will be expected to play a major role on a retooled Cleveland defense to start his career.
Last season’s Butkus Award winner, Osusu-Koramoah entered the draft as Scouts Inc.’s No. 12 overall prospect. He came in ahead of No. 12 overall pick Micah Parsons here, but it took a second-round trade from the Browns — when they moved up seven spots — before the 221-pound defender heard his name called in Cleveland.
In addition to racking up 142 tackles between his junior and senior seasons, Owusu-Koramoah was a frequent presence in Fighting Irish opponents’ backfields. He totaled 24.5 tackles for loss in his final two seasons in South Bend. With Owusu-Koramoah signed, only two 2021 Browns draftees — first-rounder Greg Newsome and third-rounder Anthony Schwartz — have yet to ink their rookie contracts.
The Browns had previously invested significantly at the off-ball linebacker spots, giving Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey top-market money while current GM Andrew Berry was on staff. Neither deal worked out, and the team passed on a big-ticket Joe Schobert extension. Cleveland has rebooted at linebacker and continued to retool this offseason, signing former Colts starter Anthony Walker before drafting Owusu-Koramoah. Those two may well become the team’s three-down ‘backers this season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.