Edge, Notre Dame
Seventh-Round, Pick 251: Dallas Cowboys
James Onwualu isn’t considered anything more than a special teams enthusiast in this draft class. His undersized body hurts him on the defensive line, and he doesn’t have the coverage ability to drop back as an outside linebacker.
The Cowboys love bringing in defensive ends/linebackers. When Onwualu is the best available this late in the draft, they won’t hesitate to take him. Whether they try to work him into the defensive rotation or keep him as a special teams guy will be the question from there.
This isn’t saying that Onwualu isn’t going to have a successful career. But he doesn’t have the physical attributes an NFL player has and although he was a big part of Notre Dame’s defense, he wasn’t big enough to be a guaranteed success in the NFL.
Someone is going to take a chance on this guy whether it’s the Cowboys or another team late in the draft. He is talented and his work ethic is second-to-none. Once players start narrowing down, Onwualu will reach the top of a team’s watchlist. From there, his destiny is in his own hands.
Joining former Notre Dame teammate, Jaylon Smith, Onwualu could transform into one of the best in Dallas. Irish fans wouldn’t be upset watching a Smith, Onwualu linebacking core in the NFL.