2019 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Amani Oruwariye

  • Amani Oruwariye, 6-1/204

  • Cornerback

  • Penn State

  • Amani Oruwariye Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Instinctive
  • Experienced
  • Good length
  • Ball skills
  • High points the ball
  • Smart; covers up receivers in his area
  • Can jam receivers
  • Physical
  • Adept at taking on big receivers
  • Can outfight defenders on contested catches
  • Gritty, physical defender
  • Willing tackler
  • Can play zone coverage
  • Good fit for press coverage

  • Weaknesses:
  • Lacks speed
  • Could have problems running with NFL speed receivers
  • Has some tightness
  • Not all that twitchy
  • More of a No. 2 or 3 cornerback in the NFL

  • Summary: In the passing-driven NFL, there is always a demand for corners who are capable of matching up against big receivers, so Oruwariye should have plenty of teams considering him in the 2019 NFL Draft. Oruwariye is a tall, long, cornerbacl who had a good college career at Penn State.

    Oruwariye formed a tough cornerback tandem for Penn State in 2017 with Christian Campbell. Oruwariye was impressive with 28 tackles, eight passes broken up and four interceptions on the year. It was a big jump in ball production as he had one interception, one breakup and 23 tackles over the previous season.

    Last September in the Hot Press, we surveyed team scouts on who impressed them during fall training camp, and Oruwariye was one of players mentioned. Oruwariye took that strong practice performance to the field, including making interceptions in back-to-back games to open the 2018 season. As a senior, Oruwariye totaled three interceptions, broke up 12 passes, had one forced fumble, and 51 tackles. He was solid, but unspectacular, at the Senior Bowl.

    For the NFL, Oruwariye is a big, long, physical corner who fits well as a press-man or zone corner. He has good instincts and is adept at covering up receivers who come into his area. With his height, length and strength, he is skilled at defending big receivers and battling them on contested catches. He has good ball skills and high points the ball well to make him a threat to pick off passes or knock them away. He times contact well to break up passes and is a polished defender.

    Oruwariye might be able to do some man coverage on receiving tight ends as well. His build makes him a natural press-man corner, and he has enough physical skills to turn and run with big wideouts down the field. He is a good weapon to defend fade passes in the red zone and also is a willing tackler in the ground game. Oruwariye is a tough corner who will get physical and push receivers around.

    The big issue that keeps Oruwariye from being a No.1 corner is a lack of speed. He is not fast, explosive or twitchy to take on the speedy big-play threats of the NFL. A speed receiver like Antonio Brown, DeSean Jackson or Will Fuller would give Oruwariye a lot of problems. Thus in the NFL, he should be protected from those matchups and be assigned to cover bigger receivers. A typical No. 2 or flanker receiver is what Oruwariye would be best at taking on, and in that role, he could be a solid starter.

    While evaluators liked a lot his play, team sources said speed issues could cause Oruwariye to slide to the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft. He could become a solid starter in the NFL.

    Player Comparison: Byron Maxwell. The big press-man corner Maxwell (6-1, 198) is almost identical in size to Oruwariye. Both are physical corners who fight receivers and have the ability to play press man. They also have speed limitations and can struggle with receivers downfield. In the NFL, I see Oruwariye being a corner similar to Maxwell.

    NFL Matches: Tampa Bay, New York Giants, Denver, Washington, Carolina, Cleveland, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Houston, Kansas City, Philadelphia

    There are a lot of potential landing spots for Oruwariye on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft. At the top of Round 2, cornerback could be in play for New York. That is a need for the defense after trading away Eli Apple, plus Janoris Jenkins could be a cap cut before long.

    Tampa Bay needs corner help because Vernon Hargreaves has disappointed and Brent Grimes is entering free agency. However, the Bucs took a few corners early on in the 2018 NFL Draft, so they may just sign a veteran to fill out their group.

    Denver badly needs cornerback help this offseason. The Broncos still have to replace Aqib Talib and find some other upgrades. If the Redskins cut Josh Norman, they could consider Oruwariye on Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft. Carolina has some quality cornerbacks, but could use a third one and depth. Oruwariye could be in play for the Panthers on Day 2.

    Cleveland made a great pick in Denzel Ward last year and could use an upgrade to go with him. The Titans also could use an upgrade to go with Adoree’ Jackson. Pittsburgh could use more corner talent, and Oruwariye could help finish off a trio with Joe Haden and Artie Burns.

    Cornerback was a weakness for the Texans last offseason, and they swung and missed on an upgrade as Aaron Colvin was a bust. Houston’s corners were a liability in 2018, so adding more talent to the position is critical this offseason.

    Philadelphia has two second-round picks and needs cornerback help, especially if Ronald Darby is not re-signed. The Chiefs need to upgrade their defense and could target a corner like Oruwariye to help out their secondary.


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