Jayson Oweh 2021 NFL Draft Overview
Position: Edge Rusher
Weight: 257 pounds
School: Penn State
Jayson Oweh Draft Profile
It’s not often in a league filled with special athletes someone stands out from the pack. But Jayson Oweh has rare length and athletic tools to work with as an edge rusher. Oweh has been flying up draft boards because his potential is off the charts. However, Oweh is raw as a prospect, as he didn’t start playing football until his junior year in high school.
Jayson Oweh attended Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey. Oweh’s size and athletic ability were obvious to scouts while he was in high school and the defensive end had offers from powerhouse schools such as Alabama, Ohio State, and Georgia, among others. However, he committed to Penn State as part of the 2018 recruiting class. The Nittany Lions have a track record of developing athletes and turning them into top prospects.
Oweh only played in 19 college games over the course of his career. However, he did record two sacks in just two games as a freshman in 2018. In his first full college season, Oweh racked up five sacks in 11 games and was expected to make another jump in production in 2020. In the shortened 2020 season, Oweh earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors as he tallied 6.5 sacks in just seven games. The edge rusher chose to ride that momentum and declare for the NFL draft as a junior underclassman.
- Rare, special athlete, reportedly ran a 4.36 at 257 pounds during Penn State’s Pro Day
- Strength gives him the ability to throw off blockers
- Cuts off running lanes with his length and quickness and creates tackling angles
- Good leg drive to his power rush; the engine doesn’t stop
- Burst off the snap jumps off the screen
- Inexperienced; he will be a developmental project with a lot of work needed on technique
- Doesn’t stack and come off a block in the run game fluidly; gets caught with a high pad level
- Inconsistent in the run game
- Limited versatility unless he learns quickly in a pro camp; probably best-suited as a designated pass-rusher early
NFL Comparison: Bud Dupree
Oweh would best be suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker early in his career where he can use his elite athleticism in space. Dupree had a slow start to his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but has now racked up 39.5 sacks in 81 games at the pro level. He has refined his pass-rush skills and learned how to use his size effectively in the run game. Oweh will need to do the same.
Projection: Second round (could sneak into the first round if a team falls in love with Oweh’s athletic traits)
Bottom Line on Jayson Oweh
The draft value evaluation on Oweh comes down to individual preference; raw athlete and upside versus lack of experience and technique. Oweh could be helped out by the position he plays. Teams are always looking for the next premium pass rusher. The former Nittany Lion has raw athletic tools that many scouts are adamant will turn into production at the pro level.
But Oweh is inexperienced and in need of a full off-season of reps to be able to contribute as a rookie. There are “safer” edge prospects in this year’s draft class who front offices will be convinced can hit the ground running faster than Oweh. He could be a liability in the run game unless he improves his technique and can quickly develop his understanding of schemes. This lack of understanding shows in his get-off; he’s slow to react and doesn’t anticipate well. Oweh made up for it with his athleticism at the college level, but raw athleticism will only get him so far at the pro level.
However, it only takes one team to fall in love with the physical tools. When Oweh will be drafted is hard to predict because the athletic testing is off the charts for a man of his size. He could be worth a flier for a contender late in the first round. But is is also possible that he falls to the second or even third round (where the value could be excellent). The size, strength, and speed is all there. He just needs some experience and with the right coaching there is Pro Bowl potential in Oweh.