The Arizona Cardinals selected Pappoe with the 168th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He will likely be a depth piece as the Cardinals look to re-vamp their defense. If Pappoe picks up the NFL game easily, he could end up being a starter during his rookie year. More likely, though, is that he learns this year and then starts in 2024.
Owen Pappoe joined the Auburn Tigers in 2019 as a 5-star recruit and top prospect at the linebacker position (per ESPN). Across four productive years at Auburn, he proved himself worthy of those high marks. Now he’s ready for his name to be called in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Pappoe experienced injury issues as a junior in 2021. However, the highly-touted linebacker capped off a successful collegiate career with 75 tackles, one interception, and two sacks while remaining healthy as a senior in 2022.
ILB Owen Pappoe: Scouting Report
Pappoe has blazing speed while running a 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. That makes him a sideline-to-sideline linebacker with elite pursuit. Pappoe is a tough, proven leader while anchoring the Auburn defense against a tough SEC schedule for multiple years.
Having said that, Pappoe is somewhat undersized as an inside linebacker at 225 pounds. He sometimes has difficulty shedding blocks in run defense. However, Pappoe is a well-rounded defender with the speed and instincts to drop into pass coverage.
Mock Draft landing spots
Pappoe is projected as a mid-round pick on Mock Draft Database. He’s listed as the 124th-best prospect in the class and a fourth-rounder.
In CBS Sports’ mock draft, Pappoe is selected early in the fourth round by the Las Vegas Raiders while The Athletic’s mock draft has the Jets landing him in the fifth round.