Lions take Washington's Onwuzurike in 2nd round

Levi Onwuzurike, a defensive tackle, runs the 40-yard dash, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, during Washington's pro day football workout for NFL scouts in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


AP Sports Writer

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions selected defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike of Washington in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday night.

Onwuzurike played mostly nose tackle with the Huskies. He was a second-team All-American in the preseason, but he opted out of the 2020 season.

“It was real difficult just watching my boys out there,” Onwuzurike said. “I was real proud of them, real proud of what they did that season. It was for sure hard to watch. I felt like I went back to being a fan.”

It’s the second straight day the Lions tried to improve on the line of scrimmage. They drafted offensive tackle Penei Sewell — who also opted out last season — with the seventh overall pick. Onwuzurike played against Sewell when Washington faced Oregon.

“One of the quickest players I’ve ever played against,” Onwuzurike said. “Very balanced, very big, but also has an athletic build. He’s almost like a tight end at the tackle position. He’s elite.”

Onwuzurike was taken at No. 41. He played in all 13 games in 2019, starting 12. He was named to the AP’s All-Pac-12 second team.

He had 95 tackles and seven sacks in three seasons at Washington.

Onwuzurike entertained Detroit-area reporters on his introductory Zoom call with his carefree attitude. He sprinkled expletives liberally into his responses and seemed excited to be drafted, even though he wasn’t taken until the second day.

“I wasn’t tripping,” he said. “At the end of the day, wherever I end up, I’m going to ball out, so I was just waiting.”