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NFL Draft Rumors 2021: Saints to hold a virtual interview with Huskies DT Levi Onwuzurike

Fresno State v Washington
Fresno State v Washington
ANALYST
Modified 23 Feb 2021
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The Draft Network’s Justin Melo reports that the New Orleans Saints are hoping to hold a virtual interview with Washington Huskies draft prospect Levi Onwuzurike.

Onwurzurike, one of the top defensive tackles in the 2021 NFL Draft, played in the Senior Bowl back in January, where he spoke to representatives of all 32 NFL franchise teams. This potential interview would be the second time he's come face to face with the Saints organization if he accepts.

NFL Draft Rumors 2021: What type of player is Levi Onwuzurike?

Onwurzurike stands at 6-foot-3 inches and weighs 283 pounds. During his final season of college ball with the Washington Huskies (2019), he made 47 solo tackles and 16 TFL. The DT is physically very dominant; almost as comfortable chasing backs in the open field as he is at getting pressure on opposition QBs (see video below for more evidence of his skillset).

Onwurzurike opted out of his senior year in Washington to begin his preparation for the 2021 NFL draft.

NFL Draft Rumors 2021: Why Onwurzurike would be a perfect fit for the New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints

New Orleans is about to embark on a tough offseason. The franchise is way over salary cap ($80m) and will struggle to hold on to many (if any) of its soon-to-be out-of-contract stars: the likes of Jared Cook, Marcus Williams, Trey Hendrickson, Sheldon Rankins, and Alex Anzalone.

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It's imperative that general manager Micky Loomis and head coach Sean Payton get the house in order during both the draft and the free agency period to plug those big Hendrickson-sized holes on defense.

Onwurzurike would be a like-for-like replacement for DT Sheldon Rankins, who the Saints are expected to let go during the offseason. If Payton can convince him to join the likes of Cam Jordan and Demario Davis as vital cogs in the Saints defense, it would soften the blow of losing Rankins, and -- if Onwurzurike is as good as the Huskies say he is -- he could even turn out to be a real coup for fans down in the Bayou.

What do you think of Onwurzurike? Is he as good as they say or another overhyped draft prospect? have your say in the comments section below:

Published 23 Feb 2021, 01:44 IST
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