Former Michigan linebacker had a good week at the Senior Bowl from start to finish, earning praise nationwide.
Uche was able to display his athleticism and versatility as a defender, showing that he can pass-rush off the edge and be a reliable contributor in pass coverage as well.
Michigan’s Josh Uche locking down Purdue’s Brycen Hopkins pic.twitter.com/Zk3Iwr9t78— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 22, 2020
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler named Uche a player “who made money in Mobile” this week. “I received a text from one of those scouts late this week: “You might be right about that #6 at Michigan.” It was predictable that Uche would be a standout in one-on-one’s because of his explosive speed to undress blockers in space,” Brugler said. “But it was the way he progressed throughout the week dropping into coverage and playing the run that really left a lasting impression. Uche had a money-making week.”
Uche was credited with one sack at the Senior Bowl, and also pressured quarterback Steven Montez into throwing an interception.
“He’s helped himself as much as any player here,” a source told The Athletic’s Chris Burke this week. The 6-foot-1, 241 pound Uche is considered undersized for an edge-rusher, but he’s not too worried about it. “There are certain traits needed to be an edge rusher, and be an edge player, and I feel like I possess those things,” Uche said. “Some guys are towering figures, but I have long arms that help me set the edge, as well. And I have the speed and power to do everything.”
“He has great twitch and wiggle, and great upfield quickness to stress bigger tackles,” per Yahoo Sports Eric Edholm. “Every time I looked up, Uche was in the backfield. That’s not all he does. Uche also opened eyes in coverage, blanketing Purdue TE Brycen Hopkins on one impressive one-on-one rep. It’s unclear if Uche will have quite the three-down versatility of players such as Patriots LB Jamie Collins or Saints LB Demario Davis, but I’ve been impressed with his bag of tricks. There aren’t too many Robert Mathis-sized full-time pass rushers who have made it, so maybe Uche can win the way Yannick Ngakoue does. The way he is showing out, I may have to rethink my overall evaluation of Uche.”
Uche is making the masses rethink their evaluation, moving him up their draft board in the process. “I’ve shown I can stop the run, shown I can be in coverage, shown I can be in pass rush,” Uche said. “Just show I can keep doing that, keep making the most of the reps I’ve been given and do what I’ve got to do.”
Uche finished the 2019 season with 34 tackles (11.5 for loss), 8.5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles.