Former Penn State defensive end Jayson Oweh is among the most intriguing prospects of the 2021 NFL Draft, which begins tonight in Cleveland, with projections ranging from the high first round to late second, depending on the week and site.
Oweh made a statement at Penn State's Pro Day in March, running the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds, a splashy time for most any player, much less a 253-pound defensive end.
But he's also still fairly new to the game, having played it full-time since his junior year of high school. As a result, the draft projections vary wildly.
One NFL Draft Bible mock had the Dallas Cowboys selecting Oweh with the 10th overall pick. Yet another didn't mention Oweh until the end of Round 2, at No. 64 overall to Tampa Bay. The same mock draft raved about tight end Pat Freiermuth, sending him to the New York Jets in the first round at No. 23 overall.
Still, teams are looking at Oweh for his potential. NFL analyst Jim Mora said the defensive end combines pass-rush and run-stopping skills with an ability to cover tight ends, making him a valuable player.
"He gets himself in situations where you don't think he's going to be able to make a play," Mora said. "Then all of the sudden, because of his burst and his hip flexibility, he goes in and makes a tackle that you wouldn't think he'd be able to make."
Despite the varied projections, NFL Draft Bible holds Oweh in high regard, listing him as the top 4-3 edge rusher in the draft. Here's more from NFL Draft Bible's scouting report:
With how paramount athleticism is at the defensive end position, Oweh is the next athletic freak that continues to push the envelope for standards at the position. Oweh is the definition of the “first man off the bus.” He certainly looks the part of the next great pass rusher to come out of the Big Ten with potential to take the NFL by storm.
An honoree on the annual “Feldman’s Freak List,” Oweh’s testing numbers have become folklore at this point, almost unfathomable for a man of his size. Coupling his insane athletic profile with some outstanding length, Oweh is a tough assignment to block one-on-one. With dynamite explosiveness around the outside track, he can put offensive linemen into troubling positions, causing a lot of oversets.
Oweh has shown a propensity to convert speed to power, feasting on oversetting offensive tackles. When tackles overset on him, he is able to immediately counter with inside moves, enabling him to win both inside and out. Calling Oweh a high-upside pass rusher would be a major understatement. After being an underwhelming run defender in 2019, Oweh was much improved in that area this past season. His arm length allows him to lock out and set a firm edge.
With more upside than tangible play at the moment, Oweh is a mound of clay that has limited production and live reps to date. He lacks awareness working against misdirection, taking himself out of position too often. Despite some serious juice up the track, he can be a tick slow off the snap. From a raw talent perspective, Oweh is a slam-dunk early first-round selection. With the inconsistencies he shows, there is no certainty where his draft slot will ultimately land. Fit will ultimately be the deciding factor for Oweh. If he lands with a good defensive line coach who can get the most out of him, we could be looking at a high-volume sack artist who could develop into one of the better pass rushers in the NFL.
Check out the video above for Mora's breakdown, and read more evaluations at NFL Draft Bible. In addition, their huge draft guide features more than 400 scouting reports, position rankings and exclusive interviews.