2021 NFL Draft Profile: Penn State Defensive End Jayson Oweh

By Matthew Filipovits on April 27, 2021 at 8:24 am
Aug 31, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive end Jayson Oweh (28) reacts following a sack during the first quarter against the Idaho Vandals at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
© Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State has routinely produced talented defensive ends over the past few years, but haven't had one taken in the first round in quite a long time. Jayson Oweh could change all of that this week.

Jayson Oweh
Jayson Oweh
Position: Defensive End
Height/Weight: 6'5/257 lbs.
Hometown: Blairstown (NJ)
Recruiting Ranking: ★★★★(0.9617)
Strengths At a Glance: Speed, Athleticism, Pass Rushing
Weaknesses At a Glance:  Lack of Experience, Consistency, Limited Pass Rush Moves

Career Summary

Jayson Oweh was originally a big-time basketball player in New Jersey before taking up football later in his high school career. He saw a meteoric rise as a football prospect, quickly achieving four-star status and capping out as the No. 76 player in the 2018 class. He earned an invite to the Under Armour All-American Game, where he committed to the Nittany Lions over other big-time programs like Ohio State and Alabama.

Oweh Career Stats
  Games Tackles Tackles for Loss Sacks
2018 4 4 2 2
2019 13 21 5 5
2020 7 38 6.5-  0
TOTAL 24 63 13.5 7

Oweh's freshman season coincided with the NCAA's rule-change allowing freshman to appear in four games and maintain their redshirt, something Oweh took advantage of. He registered two sacks in his first career appearance and then spent the majority of the season developing on the scout team. He started just one game in 2019 but had a big role that increased as the season went on. He finished the season tied for third in the team in sacks, despite playing in just about one third of all defensive snaps for the year.

Oweh slide into the starting lineup in 2020 and paired with Shaka Toney, formed one of the better defensive end combos in the Big Ten. His 38 tackles were most by a Penn State defensive linemen, despite playing two fewer games than any other starter in the unit. A lot has been made of the fact that he had zero sacks in 2020, and don't get me wrong that's not ideal, but he routinely beat tackles off the edge and forced quarterbacks to get rid of the ball earlier than they would like. If Penn State's secondary had been just a little bit better, Oweh would have racked up more than his fair share of sacks. Despite the relative lack of production, his contributions to the team didn't go unrecognized and he earned First-Team All-Big Ten accolades from the Big Ten coaches and Second-Team from the media. 


Speed, speed, speed...Athleticism to spare...Long enough to get his hands up and bat down balls the line of scrimmage...Does a good job trying to force fumbles while also being a sure-tackler...Hard hitter...Only going to get better as time goes on


Has relied heavily on his speed over the years, will need to refine his pass rush moves...Has a tendency to run himself out of plays...Skinny enough where he can get bullied by tackles with good form...Never fully reached his ceiling in college


Any team who drafts Jayson Oweh isn't doing so based on his production - they're doing it based on his potential. The edge rusher is one of the best athletes to ever come out of Penn State, and he proved that with a Pro Day that featured a 4.36 40-yard dash and 39.5-inch vertical. He's still pretty new to the game of football and it shows in certain aspects of his game, but he's got a skillset you just can't teach. He probably doesn't need a pseudo-redshirt year at the pro level, but a team will definitely have to ease him into things. Oweh's floor is a productive pass-rushing specialist who plays for a long-time, while his ceiling is one of the league's best edge rushers who terrorizes quarterbacks for years to come.