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DE Jayson Oweh declares for NFL draft

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Jayson Oweh

Penn State defensive end Jayson Oweh did as expected Saturday when he declared for the NFL draft. Oweh is widely considered to be a first-round pick, and has been slotted as high as No. 10 in at least one mock draft.

This is Oweh’s goodbye letter.

And here is James Franklin on Oweh:

Oweh, a redshirt sophomore, was first-team all-Big Ten this season. He was a disruptive force, even though he did not put up eye-popping statistics. Usually a defense end has to record a bunch of sacks or tackles for loss to earn all-conference recognition, but Oweh did not have those this season.

He finished with 38 tackles, no sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss.

Oweh’s potential is what made him an easy choice to declare early for the draft. Here’s one scouting report on him from 247Sports earlier during the season.

Pro Football Network: “He looks like he has rockets attached to his cleats coming off the ball. The explosiveness and length are all there for Oweh to be a potent pass rusher. The Dolphins have a hole off the edge, and while Oweh is raw as a pure pass rusher, the Dolphins could potentially develop him into a star with his tools.”

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Our take: Oweh deserves Parsons-level hype, but he doesn’t get it. He only finished with 21 tackles, five sacks and five tackles for loss last season in a rotational role, but will double those numbers this fall as one of the focal points of Penn State’s defense.

Here is a detailed scouting report from The Draft Network.

PROS (+): This dude has all the tools. He’s billed as an athletic freak by the Penn State S&C program and based on his role as a rotational defensive end for the Lions in 2019, they aren’t lying. He’s got plenty of room to stack weight onto his frame but he’s long, twitchy and plenty flexible — he reminds me some of a slightly bigger version of Kemoko Turay coming out of Rutgers a few years back. His bounce out of his stance is notable and he showcases strong lower half mobility to corner at high speeds and effectiveness to both crash through gaps and duck the inside shoulder to reduce his surface area and create outside pressure. He has awareness of the value of ripping through contact and can dislodge hands sufficiently in tight quarters when he’s freed up for gap penetration and charging him with outside contain offers plenty of value considering his ability to flip his hips open and get width off the snap. Sky is the limit here and if he entered the draft, he’d get drafted highly thanks to his tools; even without the polish his game could afford to take him to the next level.

CONS (—): He’s understandably raw considering he was caught behind Shaka Toney and Yetur Gross-Matos in 2019 for the Lions defense. He’s in need of adding more rush counters into his toolbox to afford him the chance to be the dominant pass rusher he has the tools to be. Gives up his chest too frequently in the run game and has struggled at times with leverage at the point of attack — he’s a better pass rusher entering 2020 than he is a run defender; he’s gotten pushed around at times and doesn’t show consistency in resetting his hands and gaining control of his blockers in one on one scenarios. Road graders will find success getting inside fit on him and he’ll pop up his pads trying to work to freedom.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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