Is Uchenna Nwosu a fit for the Chicago Bears at outside linebacker?
It took some time for Uchenna Nwosu to have his career take off at USC, but when it did, he became an intriguing prospect. As a senior Nwosu finished with 9.5 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss and 13 passes defended. What does he bring to the table and does he fit the Chicago Bears?
Nwosu is a springy player who plays with loose and fluid movement. He can really move when he gets the chance, and most of his pass rush comes from building up speed. In the play below, he is able to show bend but primarily wins with pure speed off of the edge.
Nwosu also is an effective blitzed in delayed blitzes and in coming up the middle. When he is able to get a step downfield, he is a missile.
Uchenna Nwosu also uses his quicks to make plays in the running game. A quick spin sheds a block in the mess of the box and frees him up to make a tackle behind the line of scrimmage.
However, as shown with his stats, some of his best play comes in reading the quarterback and understanding how to make plays in the passing game. He is effective and fluid off of the ball, and has a great reach and jump to get his hands on passes.
He is better deflecting passes near the line of scrimmage than he is in space
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too. His interception last season came on a play where he tipped the ball to himself. On the play below, you can see that he has the ability to just hang in the air, and has the understanding to time jumps and make that impact, even if he is not getting sacks.
His size and strength do not show him holding up well on the edge. His ability to set the edge will put to the test, and his consistency as a pass rusher will be questioned. In the play below, he is completely blown up off of the line near the goal line. He did not have the presence of the blockers around him, and his lack of size was exposed.
He is also going to struggle with length rushing the passer. Nwosu is hardly the first player off of the snap, and if linemen can get their hands on him, they usually can dictate his path. The team drafting him will have to be willing to use his specialty in the passing game.
There are also questions about his background. Nwosu was kicked off the team during their bowl game as a freshman for a fight with a teammate and did not enroll until late in his sophomore year. His commitment will be questioned over this run to the draft.