Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Fell To Second Round Due To Heart Issue?

One of the bigger surprises of last week’s draft was that Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah fell to the second round. Owusu-Koramoah, the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year, a unanimous All-American, and winner of the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker, was widely considered a first-round talent, but he had to wait until the Browns traded up to the No. 52 overall selection to hear his name called.

And now we have some clarity on that front. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, Owusu-Koramoah had a heart issue that came to light late in the predraft process, which was a concern for most teams (Twitter link). Though the 6-1, 221-lb ‘backer was medically cleared, the issue contributed to his draft-day slide.

But a league source tells Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com that there is nothing wrong with Owusu-Koramoah’s heart, and a source close to the player himself said he has never heard of any heart issue. During an interview on The Jim Rome Show today, Owusu-Koramoah said, “I never really had any heart issues or anything going on there. You know, you hear a lot of things, but you’ve got to get it from the source.”

One would think that there would be a little smoke to this fire, since plenty of teams passed on a player of Owusu-Koramoah’s upside, but color Cleveland GM Andrew Berry unconcerned. “[T]here’s no issue that would prevent him from being productive short- or long-term,” Berry said.

Indeed, Berry even considered taking Owusu-Koramoah with the No. 26 overall pick. Berry has worked hard to upgrade the Browns’ defense this offseason, and Owusu-Koramoah is a big part of that. The Golden Domer is something of a classic ‘tweener, but that’s becoming less relevant in today’s NFL. His speed and instincts should serve him well in a traditional LB role, and he could also get some looks at safety. He lined up at safety and even as a slot corner in college.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Draft Notes: Browns, Jaguars, Broncos

Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had one of the most surprising tumbles of the draft. Widely expected to be a first-rounder, he ended up falling to the Browns with the 52nd overall pick after Cleveland traded up to get him. Apparently, the Browns almost pulled the trigger a round earlier. Cleveland mulled taking him with their first-rounder, the 26th overall pick. “He was definitely under consideration,” exec Paul DePodesta said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal.

We certainly didn’t expect him to be there when he was, but we’re fortunate that he was,” GM Andrew Berry added. “There was a lot of pacing going on upstairs once we got to about pick 42, 43, 44, just trying to figure out if there was a way we could make it happen,” DePodesta explained of the trade up. The Browns needed linebacker help, so it was the perfect situation. Not only was Owusu-Koramoah the ACC Defensive Player of the Year last season, he was also a unanimous All-American.

Here’s more fallout from this weekend’s draft in the AFC:

  • The Jaguars reunited Trevor Lawrence with his college running back by drafting Travis Etienne 25th overall, but it sounds like they would’ve preferred someone else. On Friday head coach Urban Meyer said there was a player who “broke our heart” that they couldn’t draft, and on Saturday he revealed who that was. The team was hoping to pick Florida receiver Kadarius Toney, Meyer said, via John Shipley of Jaguar Report (Twitter link). It’s rare for a coach or GM to openly say something like that, so they must’ve really wanted him. Meyer called the Florida star a “human highlight reel,” and highlighted his relationship with current Gators coach Dan Mullen as to how he’d gotten close to Toney. Unfortunately for Meyer, the Giants nabbed Toney at 20th overall.
  • The Broncos drafted a small school prospect a lot of fans were high on when they took Quinn Meinerz from Wisconsin-Whitewater in the third-round. Meinerz played guard in college, but it looks like Denver is going to switch him to the pivot for pro development. Meinerz will start out playing center, head coach Vic Fangio said, via Mike Klis of Denver 9 News (Twitter link). As Klis points out, he’ll be behind 2020 third-rounder Lloyd Cushenberry on the depth chart.

Browns Trade Up, Draft Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah At No. 52

Cleveland just got one of the highest-rated players left on the board. The Browns traded up with the Panthers to nab the 52nd overall pick, and used it to take Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.

Owusu-Koramoah was expected by many to be a first-rounder, and it’s pretty shocking that he fell all the way to 52.

Here’s the breakdown of the trade:

Browns Receive

  • No. 52
  • No. 113

Panthers Receive

  • No. 59
  • No. 89

Owusu-Koramoah went 19th overall in Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com’s final mock draft. Dane Brugler of The Athletic had him as the 15th-best player overall on his board. He received all kinds of accolades last season, including winning the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

He was also a unanimous All-American, and won the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker. It’s unclear why he slipped as far as he did, but many people think the Browns got a steal with this pick.

He only played two years at Notre Dame, and won’t turn 22 until November. Cleveland has been steadily adding to their defense all offseason, signing guys like safety John Johnson and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to big contracts in free agency. Linebacker was one spot they still needed help, and now they’ve got it.