April 13, 2021   7 MIN READ

“He’s An Athletic Freak:” Inside The Draft With Greg Cosell


With the NFL draft being just over two weeks away, Greg Cosell discussed potential prospects that could be on Howie Roseman’s board in the third installment of “Inside The Draft With Greg Cosell,” on the Inside The Birds platform.

Cosell breaks down top pass rushers in this year’s draft, including Jayson Oweh, Kwity Paye, Greg Rousseau, Jaelen Phillips, and his dark horses.

Cosell discusses outlines which prospects best fit into new Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme.

Penn State product Jayson Oweh is raw, but has elite athletic ability.

Jayson Oweh, Penn State

Cosell: “He’s an athletic freak. I put on his tape –  and I’ve been doing this a long time –  this kid is an athletic freak. The tape you put it on, and you go, ‘Oh, my god, I’ve never seen a guy move like this.’ He was 6-foot-5, 257 pounds. We know that the 40-yard dash times were probably a bit extreme this year but he ran a 4.39. So let’s say it was going to be a 4.45, you have to remember how big this guy is. His vertical jump was almost 40, his arm length is over 34, this guy’s a freak. Now, he didn’t have any sacks this year but he had a lot of pressures. This guy has every physical and athletic trait that you could possibly want for an edge player. He needs to be coached a little bit. I don’t know anything about the kid, you know, I can’t speak to that. But you just look at this guy and say if it all comes together, there’s not going to be many guys like this.”

Kwity Paye, Michigan

Cosell: “Kwity Paye is a fascinating guy, because of the way he’s built. He’s kind of dense and compact in his build. He’s got a really strong-looking body. But he’s a plus athlete, he is not a poor athlete, by any means. There are times he’s looked sudden in his movement, he could change direction. You’ve got to remember he came out of Rhode Island, not obviously a well-known state as far as producing great football players, but he was a track athlete, he was on a state champion 4×100 relay team, so you’re not talking about a bad athlete. And the thing that I guarantee coaches love about him is he’s got heavy hands, and you can’t teach that. I mean, he controls and displaces offensive tackles. He moves them. I think there’s a lot to unlock with this kid athletically and physically. I think he could be a quality edge pass rusher. He has speed-to-power because of his build. And I also think he’s your classic case of a guy, you can move him inside to D-tackle in your sub fronts, and he could really be effective. I think I would describe his explosiveness as more methodical and relentlessly powerful than just totally twitchy, but he’s a pretty good prospect. He almost looked to me like an old school D-end to me.”

Greg Rousseau, Miami

Cosell: “I’ve watched him because he didn’t play this year and it’s a shame he didn’t just because he needed to play. But I think he’s got great size, he’s got great length, he’s a plus athlete because he can extend his arms, which are long. He’s functionally flexible, he can do speed-to-power. He did most of his work in 2019, as an inside player in either a 1-technique or a 0-technique. Miami used him in 2019 in their sub fronts as a 0-technique player. I don’t think he’s an edge player right now. People will see him that way because of his length. He clearly has the kind of length you cannot teach, and that arm extension is really good. I think his 2019 tape showed a splash player, but not a consistent player. Like I said, he was at his best as a pass rusher when he was reduced inside. Maybe in three years we’re talking about him differently. In some ways, he kind of reminded me of Marcus Davenport coming out of college, and I thought Davenport was a better edge rush prospect than Rousseau is an edge rush prospect.”

Jaelan Phillips, Miami

Cosell: “Jaelen Phillips, he would fit but I don’t know how the Eagles feel about him because he said he had his first concussion when he was age 10. He’s had a number of concussions. He did manage to play all this season, quit football – retired so to speak after he left UCLA – and by the way he was a five-star recruit and considered one of the top five players in the nation when he came out of Southern California and went to UCLA. This kid’s been dominant his whole life. This kid has every trait you want as a 4-3 D-end. I mean he’s got size, length, athleticism, suddenness, explosiveness, flexibility, power, balance, competitiveness. He checks every box you want for a 4-3 D-end. It just comes down to your feeling about the medical, and you’re feeling about the personal and the character, which I know nothing about. But I do know about the medical, that he’s had numerous concussions and other issues that will scare some teams.”

Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

Cosell: “So he came in at 6-foot-2 1/4, which a lot of teams are going to see as too short, that’s the way it works. Some teams have specific parameters, we all know that, that’s just the way it works right or wrong, we know that. He has ridiculously long arms, they’re over 34 inches. Ridiculously long arms and a tremendous wingspan. This kid is naturally powerful, he’s methodically explosive, he can bend, he’s got unbelievable balance. I mean, this kid’s flexibility right at the top of the pass rush arc with his outstanding balance and body control to corner was just, maybe as good as it was in this class. He is a really good prospect. But the more I watched him, the more I liked him, his balance, his body control, his high level, and he could clear the edge without losing velocity and speed. I really think that this kid’s a fascinating prospect. It comes down to the team. Again, he’s under 6-foot-3 and he’s 249 pounds. So how do you see him in your scheme?”

Payton Turner, Houston

Cosell: “This kid looks old school. I mean this kid really looks the part. Six-foot-five and ⅜ and 270 but looked bigger, so maybe got down to 270 for his pro day. Ridiculously long arms, he’s got size, length, he has the feel of an old school D-end. He plays a powerful big man’s game with strong heavy hands, and like I said, you can’t teach strong heavy hands. Now here’s a guy that showed the leverage to play off contact defense effectively, he’s got natural play strength he generated power and explosion into contact, but they’re also snaps where he showed enough bend and flexibility that you think, OK, we can even work on that. When a guy has that kind of natural power combined with more than functional athleticism, I think that makes him a really strong prospect. Again he played the Tulanes, the Central Floridas, Memphis. So, will people look at the level of competition? Maybe, but this kid to me was a fascinating prospect.”

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