NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jayson Oweh
Penn State defensive end Jayson Oweh has declared for the 2021 NFL draft after the Nittany Lions’ disappointing 2020 campaign.
Oweh entered Penn State as a four-star recruit from Blair Academy in New Jersey. He was also the 76th best player in the country as well as the fourth-best defensive end according to 247 Sports.
As a true freshman, Oweh appeared in four games. In his first collegiate contest against Kent State, he made an immediate impact, recording three tackles and two sacks. Since he appeared in just four games, he was eligible to redshirt the season.
In his first season as a full-time player, Oweh appeared in every game, racking up 21 tackles, five tackles for loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass deflection.
His best game came in a 28-7 victory against Michigan State in East Lansing. In the victory, Oweh tallied three tackles, two strip-sacks, a forced fumble and two QB hurries. For his efforts, he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week and was listed to the Big Ten Team of the Week’s first team.
In his redshirt sophomore season in 2020, Oweh played in seven of the Nittany Lions’ nine games. He finished with 38 tackles, 6 1/2 tackles for loss and one pass deflection. But one glaring hole stands out on the stat sheet: Oweh failed to record a single sack.
Despite this notable statistical absence, Oweh was still very productive. According to Pro Football Network, Oweh had an 18% win rate as a pass rusher, which was one of the best in the Big Ten. Though he did not record a sack, he still generated pressure and created positive plays for the defense on a consistent basis.
Many scouts are not worried about his lack of production as a Nittany Lion, though he is one of the best athletes in the class. Oweh stands at 6 feet 5 inches and weighs around 257 pounds. On his pro day, he ran a blazing 4.36 40-yard dash, showing off his insane speed. He also registered a 39 1/2-inch vertical, a broad jump of 11 feet 2 inches, and 34 1/2-inch arms.
His pro day elevated his draft stock and now many teams with a late first-round pick are considering selecting Oweh due to his rare athletic tools.
Oweh has loads of potential and his ceiling as a prospect is that of a 10-plus-sacks-per-season pass rusher. There’s explosiveness, bend, length and plenty of room to build onto his frame. Oweh best suits as a 3-4 outside linebacker who will rush the passer as a rookie but develop into an every-down linebacker.
Oweh is considered to be a developmental player as he played in just 24 collegiate games. Teams will need to give him time to grow physically and to improve on his technique. As such, Oweh is lean and can give up valuable yards as a run defender; he’s lacking in the core and lower-body power to hold ground and stack up tackles.
The best fits for Oweh at the end of the first round are the Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All three of these teams would not need Oweh to make an immediate impact as a rookie; instead, he could sit behind starting pass rushers for a season to develop his pro skills.
Another team to look out for in the Jayson Oweh sweepstakes is the New York Giants. The Giants reportedly have a lot of interest in Oweh, and there are plenty of Penn State connections in town, including Saquon Barkley, Cam Brown, Austin Johnson and defensive line coach Sean Spencer.
Whatever team lands Oweh is getting a player who has loads of potential but will need time to develop. If Oweh develops, he could be one of the best pass rushers in the league.
Alex Rocco is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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