Jayson Oweh is the biggest question mark in the 2021 NFL Draft. There are people that have him going in the first round and there are people that have him going in the fourth round. It is absolutely mind boggling that he ran an unofficial 4.36 forty yard dash as a defensive lineman. It is also mind boggling that this guy had zero sacks in his 2020 season and is being mentioned as a first round player. Let’s see where he really belongs.
College: Penn State
Position: 3-4 OLB
Weight: 252 lbs
2019 Stats: 11 games played/13 SOLO/21 TOTAL/5 TFL/5 Sacks
2020 Stats: 7 games played/20 SOLO/38 TOTAL/6.5 TFL/0 Sacks
1.Oweh is undeniably an athletic freak. His forty-yard dash time of 4.36u is objectively fast and then you factor in that he is 6’5″ 250+ lbs, that is a record-breaking forty-yard dash. His game speed is also eye-popping. He blows around the edge and through gaps and his pursuit to ball carriers is flat-out impressive.
2.Jayson is the most flexible edge defender in the class by a country mile. He has a truly impressive bend and he dips under tackles outside hips with ease. His speed coupled with his flexibility leads to a crazy good speed rush. His flexibility also helps him in the run game to get through small gaps in between guards.
3.He’s got great length at 6’5″. Truthfully, he can play 4-3 DE but 3-4 OLB fits his skill set better. Oweh can match up with the big tall tackles in the league and it also makes his bend on the edge even more impressive when you consider just how big he is. His length will also help when he gets more polish in the NFL.
1.How are you gonna tell me that a big ten pass rusher with zero sacks in his final season is supposed to go in the first round. He is definitely a high upside player but he’s got little to no polish on his pass rush technique. He has one chop move and besides that it’s either a speed rush or an unsuccessful sloppy rush move. He absolutely needs polish with his hand counters in the NFL.
2.Oweh isn’t a very powerful player. You won’t see him knocking tackles backwards like Kwity Paye. His hands are more for stability and not power and his stance is always positioned to set up his speed rush. There is definite room for improvement in the muscle department, especially at the next level.
3.His football IQ is low and his in-game experience is sparse. He only played 20 games in his whole career for the Nittany Lions and was being rotated out with Shaka Toney when Yetur Gross-Matos was in Pennsylvania. He has trouble making correct reads pre- and post-snap and is a jumpy player so will move the wrong way sometimes.
Jayson Oweh plays an incredibly valuable position and his athletic upside is easy to get excited about. His lack of production in starting role against some average to above-average teams is a valid concern. In the NFL he will need a good 2-3 years of being in a rotational role before he can start and that will make teams wary of spending valuable draft capital on him. He will do well in a rotational role for the first couple of years but starting him too early could be a mistake. He might have the highest ceiling in the whole draft but he also has one of the lowest floors.
Round Projection: Second Round
Pro Comparison: K’Lavon Chaisson