Chargers general manager Tom Telesco’s priorities should be pretty clear heading into the 2021 NFL draft. He needs to address the offensive line, particularly at tackle. Telesco must also get defensive end Joey Bosa some help. However, the ‘Bolts’ also need to aid their disappointing run defense.
In 2020, Gus Bradley’s unit has only kept opposing offenses under 100 yards rushing on four occasions. It doesn’t bode well that in those four games, they gave up 95 and 96 yards to the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets, respectively. Giving up 4.5 yards per carry simply won’t do it in an AFC West stacked with talented running backs.
Overall, that aspect of the Chargers defense has to improve, this is where Jayson Oweh comes in.
What Did Oweh’s College Career Look Like?
Statistically speaking, Oweh had a splendid 2020 season at Penn State playing in the Big Ten. He accumulated six and a half tackles for loss and one pass defensed. Career-wise, the Nittany Lion totaled 13.5 tackles for a loss and forced two fumbles with seven sacks over the last three years. While many don’t care much for college stats, Oweh did become the first Penn State defender to notch 10 or more tackles in a single game since 2018.
The six-foot-five, 252-pound defender has the size, length, and raw athleticism that should entice Chargers brass. Kyle Crabbs of the Draft Network believes Oweh can stack weight onto his frame but he’s long, twitchy, and plenty flexible.
Oweh Would Aid The Chargers’ Run Defense…
Obviously, Oweh would be ‘raw’ from a physical standpoint but he has the tools to succeed as Crabbs points out. He attacks opposing quarterbacks with tenacity and ferociousness, something the Chargers could also use. His relentless pursuit and explosiveness is visible on film as Crabbs noted as well.
Pro Football Focus indicated that Oweh had 346 snaps along Penn State’s defensive line this season. He’s also improved significantly overall during his three collegiate seasons. PFF’s overall grade has him at 85.4, with his run-defense grade sitting at an impressive 89.8, making him one of the best prospects in that department.
Sacks are the ‘sexy’ stat in the modern NFL but the Chargers have to also do something about their run defense, giving up more than 100 yards a game to nearly every opponent won’t cut it. Oweh could be a solid contributor from the outset, he’ll definitely be worth a look.