After Falling To Lions In Fifth Round, Oruwariye Says Other 31 Teams Will Pay

If Jahlani Tavai was a reach for the Lions in the second round of the draft, cornerback Amani Oruwariye should be considered a steal in the fifth. 

Oruwariye, first-team All-Big Ten at Penn State last season, was pegged as a day-two pick. Some projections had him going in the second round. 

He slipped to day three, and then the Lions pounced. 

Hey, Oruwariye said, it happens. 

"It's the draft. That’s what I try to explain to people," he said in a conference call with local reporters. "Don’t read into anything, don’t look at (projections). All that doesn't really matter. It just matters finding that one team that will give you an opportunity and believe in you. I was just patient. I knew my time would come." 

It's a mature perspective, one befitting a fifth-year senior who's currently working on a second degree. That's not to say Oruwariye hasn't been given some extra fuel.

"I’m not gong to sit there and dwell on what didn’t happen and what should’ve happened. I’m just going to make the other 31 teams that didn’t draft me pay when my opportunity comes," he said. "Just hold my standard. I’m going to work hard regardless of where I’m picked at. Doesn't matter what day, when, where. That’s just how I am. That's not going to change." 

One of the bigger cornerbacks in the draft at 6'2, 205 lbs., Oruwariye's strengths are winning at the line of scrimmage and making plays in the air. He's another long defender in a Lions defense that already features lots of them. He lacks top-notch speed, but he has a shot to start as a rookie opposite Darius Slay. 

Oruwariye said Slay is one of the NFL corners he likes to study, along with Richard Sherman and Jalen Ramsey. 

"A lot of people ask me what kind of things from certain guys in the league you try to implement in your game, and I just told them Darius Slay plays the deep ball really well. It’s just great technique," said Oruwariye. "That’s the one thing I’ve watched on him. He’s somebody I’m going to really lean on and seek advice from and try to gain my game after." 

In 14 games over his last two seasons at Penn State, Oruwariye recorded 27 passes defended and seven picks. He thrived in the same kind of press-man coverage that Matt Patricia and the Lions like to deploy. 

He knows he has an edge with his size, and he uses it to his advantage. 

"It just allows me to be able to match up with bigger receivers that the league brings. It allows me to use my body to my ability and really dominate at the line of scrimmage and go up with receivers and make plays on the ball," he said. "It’s just a lot of strengths that my size brings, so I’m hoping to implement that into my game.”