2018 Raiders Draft Prospect
Name: Uchenna Nwosu
Weight: 245 pounds
Nwosu’s tackles begin at the waist. With a coiled drive and compact strike, he thumps the ballcarrier with force. Whenever he gets a clean shot, Nwosu appears to bring a little extra to the play. In space, he breaks down perfectly to secure the stop. Occasionally, he looks to hit a bit too hard, leaving himself open to glancing blows. Under those circumstances, technique vanishes.
Although he weighs in at 245 pounds, Nwosu must add power to his overall game. When used on the edge, he appears unable to bull rush. In addition, Nwosu cannot generate enough upward force when engaging blockers. Whether it’s technique or timing, this issue, with competent coach can be fixed.
For his size, Nwosu possesses excellent burst. In 2017, he notched 9.5 sacks. Those big plays show him blowing by tackles. Although his pass rush looks rather basic, Nwosu pivots and flips his hip well in coverage. His 19 deflected passes paint the picture of someone comfortable away from the line of scrimmage. Equally important, Nwosu gets up to speed quick, without the use of excessive strides.
In tape review, many of Nwosu’s pass deflections emanate from reading the passing lane and exploding vertically. Nwosu times his jump extremely well and he will bat the pass down. If he learns to harness this athleticism, those batted passes could turn into interceptions.
As a former linebacker, Paul Guenther likes his ‘backers versatile and ability to stop the run. In essence, Nwosu fits that build. However, people may try to categorize him as an edge rusher. Yet, his sacks were based off the same move. With his athleticism, Nwosu could play all three spots. Moreover, he drops into coverage. After years of Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry, and Travis Kelce, the Raiders need help. Granted, no one wants Bruce Irvin to leave. Chances are that he will stay in Oakland. However, where is the linebacker depth? Marquel Lee looked lost, Cory James flashes skill, but the team still needs to see more. As a result, behind Irvin, Bowman, and Morrow, the Raiders need talent. Right now, Nwosu presents as a Day 2 pick.