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Nik Bonitto

OLB

#42

Experience: R

Height: 6-3

Age: 22

Weight: 248 lbs

College: Oklahoma

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Biography

Bonitto (pronounced bo-NEE-toe) was a four-star recruit from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before signing with the Sooners. Bonitto redshirted in 2018, playing in three games as a reserve (three tackles). He played in all 14 games in 2019, starting the final eight contests, and amassed 43 tackles, 6.5 for loss with 3.5 sacks, one interception and four pass breakups. Big 12 coaches voted Bonitto honorable mention all-conference in 2020, but the Associated Press valued his production (32 tackles, 10.5 for loss with eight sacks, two pass breakups in 10 starts) enough to vote him to its second-team All-American squad. He was a third-team AP pick and second-team All-Big selection in 2021, topping the Sooners with 15 tackles for loss and seven sacks in 39 total tackles in 12 starts. Bonitto opted out of the team's bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft. -- by Chad Reuter

Undersized edge defender who plays in a slant-based scheme that makes evaluating his three-down value more difficult. Evaluating the pass-rush talent, on the other hand, is quite easy. He's a wildly athletic rusher who blends get-off, stride length and flexibility into one alarming package for tackles trying to slow him down. Rush counters come instinctively and his ability to seamlessly transition his attack from outside to inside makes him a projectable rusher against athletic tackles as a pro. Teams will want him to get bigger, stronger and more assertive against the run as a 3-4 outside linebacker or he could be relegated to DPR (designated pass rusher) status.

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