2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Owen Pappoe

  • Owen Pappoe, 6-0/225

  • Linebacker

  • Auburn

  • Owen Pappoe Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Good speed
  • Quick, sideline-to-sideline defender
  • Flies around the field
  • Ability to work through trash
  • Athletic
  • Smooth mover
  • Good in space
  • Agile
  • Not stiff
  • Pass-coverage potential
  • Dangerous blitzer
  • Capable of playing zone coverage
  • Could be a special teams contributor
  • Upside

  • Weaknesses:
  • Undersized
  • Underweight
  • Should add strength
  • Inconsistent instincts
  • Not consistent at reading his keys

  • Summary: Auburn had a few down years, but Pappoe was one defender who stood out for the Tigers. He broke out in 2020 with 93 tackles, four sacks, an interception, and two passes broken up. Pappoe was limited to five games in 2021 and recorded just 23 tackles. Pappoe rebounded in his final season with 92 tackles, three passes defended, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

    Against the pass, Pappoe is a skilled zone-coverage linebacker. He covers a lot of ground, using his speed to close space in a hurry. With his quickness and athleticism, Pappoe is able to drop well thanks to the speed of his backpedal. He also does a nice job in route recognition too.

    Pappoe showed serious speed to be a pursuit run defender at Auburn. However, his instincts were inconsistent, and he struggled with reading his keys. He also had size issues in terms of taking on and shedding blocks. In part because of the size and instinct issues, Pappoe was not always a decent downhill defender. His run defense needs to improve for the NFL.

    For the NFL, Pappoe’s best fit would come as a Will – weakside – linebacker in a 4-3 defense. In a 3-4, he could use a heavy and tough Mike linebacker next to him. Pappoe could be a mid-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and he could recieve some consideration on Day 2 for a third-round selection.

    Player Comparison: Deion Jones. Pappoe could be a poor-man’s version of Jones in the NFL. Jones (6-1, 222) and Pappoe are almost very in size and possess plus speed and athleticism. In the 2016 NFL Draft, Jones was a second-round pick out of LSU, but Pappoe won’t go that high. He could be a mid-rounder in the 2023 NFL Draft who ends up being a sleeper-value pick.


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