The next few weeks here on State of the Texans we will be doing some draft profiles of some particular players who could possibly fit into the Texans plans. We are not going to try to piece together scouting reports, but we enlist help of bloggers who actually cover the respective player and their school.
At 6'0" and 196 lbs. Chris Owusu from Stanford tested off the charts when he ran a 4.36 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. With only 35 catches and 376 yards his Senior year at Stanford, Owusu had an injury riddled Junior season with concussions. He turned some heads with his blazing speed, but could potentially turn into a late round pick for a NFL team and could provide some speed to their wide receiver corp.
We enlisted the help of Scott Allen from the Rule of Tree, a blog dedicated to the Stanford Cardinal, and he helped us get a better look at the speedster Owusu.
Can you give us some background on Owusu?
Owusu came to Stanford as the No. 34 ranked wide receiver in the country, according to Rivals.com. He was a track star at Oaks Christian School in California and his speed, coupled with Stanford's lack of depth at the wide receiver position, earned him playing time as a true freshman. Owusu broke out during his sophomore season with a career-high 37 receptions for five touchdowns, which left many fans expecting huge things from him over the next two years. A knee injury and a concussion limited him to seven games during his junior season and two more concussions as a senior -- both on vicious hits while going over the middle -- threatened to end his football career.
What did he mean to the Stanford offense in 2011?
Owusu's production was down in 2011, partly as a result of missing three games with concussions. He had 35 receptions but averaged less than 11 yards per catch. Rather than being used as a downfield threat, as he was during his breakout sophomore campaign, Owusu caught a lot of quick-hitters at the line of scrimmage and slants over the middle. Regardless, Stanford was better when he was on the field, as opposing defenses had to respect his speed and worry about the threat of him going deep.
What are his strengths and weaknesses?
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Owusu's biggest strength is his elite speed, which was on display at the NFL Scouting Combine. He has good, but not great, hands and is a solid enough route runner. His biggest weakness has to be the injury concerns, specifically that he'll take yet another serious hit to the head. While he's been medically cleared to resume his football career, one has to wonder whether the hits he's taken have a small psychological effect on Owusu when he's going over the middle. Some Stanford fans probably wish Owusu would hang up his cleats and put his degree to good use rather than risk another head injury.
Did having Luck help him as a wide receiver?
Andrew Luck made everyone around him better, but Owusu could've stood out with any number of QBs thanks to his speed.
How would you describe Owusu's playmaking ability?
During his sophomore season, it isn't a stretch to say that Owusu was one of the top playmakers in the country. In addition to averaging 18.4 yards per catch on 37 receptions, he was a monster on special teams. Owusu had eight kickoffs of 40 or more yards and tied the Pac-10 single season record by returning three kickoffs for touchdowns. He wasn't used as often on special teams as a junior and senior, but the playmaking ability is still there.
How do you see Owusu at the NFL level?
He could make some team very happy as a downfield threat/return man, but he's a gamble because of his injury history. If he can stay healthy, I can see him having a James Jett-like career.
A special thanks goes out to Scott, you can visit the Rule of Tree for all of your Stanford Cardinal news.