Uchenna Nwosu, LB
School: USC | Conference: PAC 12
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22?
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 251 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: Dee Ford
Uchenna Nwosu was a 3-star prospect from Harbor City, California. He was recruited as a safety when he committed to USC. Over the past 4 years, Nwosu has committed to developing his body, filling out his frame, and learning the outside linebacker position. His hard work has paid off and he is one of the top outside linebackers in this class. Nwosu is particularly aware and active at the line of scrimmage. If his pass rush doesn't get home or if he is on edge setting duties he is likely in a position to get his hands and body up to bat the ball down. With 13 passes defended this past season he is putting some secondary players to shame with his production. He has great athleticism and is effective rushing the passer with his quickness and can close quickly for sacks he is also decent in run defense. Nwosu still needs to develop play strength, and he doesn't have the ideal length for a 3-4 OLB but his physical skillset still ought to entice 4-3 and 3-4 teams alike. Nwosu’s production and effectiveness runs hot and cold. He still needs to develop his pass rush and counter moves but teams may find his strength too good to hold out on for long on draft day.
- Excellent vision and awareness at the LOS. He can anticipate when the QB is going to throw and get into position to swat passes.
- Excellent athleticism and good size for the position. His closing burst is great and he has good pursuit ability. Wins with speed and is especially effective rushing the interior part of the line.
- Fluid player that has no problem changing direction. Can drop back into coverage and cover a lot of ground.
- Solid and reliable tackler.
- Needs to develop counter and secondary pass rush moves. He tries to win with speed and gets caught up despite athleticism. He has bull rush and that's about it.
- Doesn't have the length or plays strength to consistently win off the edge. Can get stonewalled by offensive tackles and becomes ineffective as a rusher once his momentum is stopped.
- Anticipates timing of QB’s throw well but can get fooled on RPOs, play action, and other trickery. Instincts seem hit or miss hesitation and false steps happen as part of his read and react ability.
- Streaky player who runs hot and cold.
Let's see his work:
Uchenna Nwosu (USC) has 13 Passes Defended in 2017. Such a knack for the ball when his pass rush doesn't get home. pic.twitter.com/TslmhWJRxz— Kyle Morgan (@NoHuddleScouts) December 27, 2017
LB (?) Uchenna Nwosu (USC, 6’2”, 240lbs) is an interesting talent. Amazing awareness, instincts & quick reactions. Always knows where the ball is. Inconsistent as an outside rusher. pic.twitter.com/6GHMn6t7ay— Jeremy Stevenson (@MyColtsAccount) November 30, 2017
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Nwosu got a late start to football starting play in his sophomore year of high school. The progress he has shown so far in switching positions, changing his body, and the production he has been able to put up speak to how far he has come already. He is looked at as somewhat of a traits prospect. He has the physical skill set to be dominant and win consistently outside or inside but it's clear he is still learning. I think he gets chances early in his career because of his physical traits but there is no doubt he still has a lot to learn regarding technique and consistency. He can play in space and likely gets on the field first playing special teams. He needs to get stronger and develop better ways to disengage if he’s going to to be of any use on rushing downs in the NFL. He has a chance if he develops counter moves, uses his speed at 100%, and develops some consistency to be a great pass rushing outside linebacker. The big question for Nwosu for me is will he develop into a three-down player or will he be limited to a specialist role? I think he could add good depth to the Redskins current outside linebacker group and bring a great athletic profile to the group that it is currently missing. It may take a couple of seasons before he is developed but could grow and fulfill a key role on defense.