07 Jul Preseason Scouting Notes: Jayson Oweh, EDGE, Penn State
Redshirt Sophomore | 6’5” 255 lbs | Howell, NJ | Dec. 15, 1998
An athletic anomaly off the edge with insane speed and bend who needs to refine the technical aspects of his game
Jayson Oweh is one of the most athletic players in the NCAA and will go from rotational third down pass rusher to full-time starter now that Yetur Gross-Matos has moved on to the NFL. Oweh reportedly clocked a hand-timed 4.33 40-yard dash at a Penn State practice in the summer of 2019, and although that may be far off from his official 40 time, it is telling nonetheless. Originally a basketball player with mid-major offers, Oweh came to the sport of football as a junior in high school and quickly became a Top 100 recruit. He played in four games as a true freshman, notching a pair of sacks while maintaining his redshirt status. As a sophomore, Oweh primarily lined up in a four-point stance in a 5-, 7-, or 9-tech alignment in Penn State’s 4-3 front and was quite productive as a pass rusher despite playing a limited role.
– Truly elite speed for the position. Simply dusts plodding tackles to the corner
– Explosive first step quickness off the line
– Has the ideal blend of balance and hip flexibility needed to turn the corner
– Natural block shedding ability due to length, hand accuracy and upper body strength
– Accurate hands will be a building block as he develops more pass rush moves/counters
– Dangerous on stunts and games that get him one-on-one with interior OL
– Shows serious ability to covert speed to power in some instances. Could eventually have a deadly speed bull in his arsenal if he plays with proper leverage
– Sure tackler who doesn’t make splashy hits but wraps up ball carriers
Areas to improve:
– Lacks anchor strength to set the edge against more powerful tackles. Lowering pad level and widening his base should help
– Very limited pass rush arsenal. Only has one developed move (speed rip) and has limited success the few times he attempts other tactics
– Despite his quick first step, he rarely times the snap well, which holds back his get off from being elite
– Though Oweh shows good hand placement, he needs to become more active and violent with his hands
– Motor improved as the season wore on, but remains inconsistent. Doesn’t play at his full speed nearly enough
– Has a tendency to get overzealous rushing up field, causing him to lose gap integrity or contain
Oweh is a very raw prospect at the moment, but his ludicrous athleticism cannot be taught, while most of his weaknesses should naturally improve as he gets more reps and develops his football intelligence. Considering that he may be the premier height/weight/speed athlete of the 2021 class, there’s almost no way that Oweh’s falls beyond Day 2, barring unforeseen injury. If he can show development as a run defender and add a move or two to his pass rush arsenal, he has a shot to rocket into the first round discussion. Oweh’s best fit at the next level will come as a 4-3 edge rusher in a Wide 9 scheme, though he could potentially play some 3-4 OLB if he can show enough coverage acumen. He will likely start as a rotational third down pass rusher as a rookie, and has the potential to develop into an All-Pro edge rusher if his mental skills ever catch up to his physical traits.
What to watch in 2020:
Oweh will be under a microscope in his first season as a starter. Scouts will be looking at how his pass rush plan develops, whether he can consistently hold the edge as a run defender, how hot his motor runs, and how his football intelligence and instincts grow. He and Shaka Toney will form one of the country’s best pass rush duos, and if Oweh can raise his game to an All-American level, the Penn State defense could be the nation’s best.