Joseph Ossai has all the physical tools teams look for in an outside linebacker, which is why he'll attract plenty of attention n the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. Ossai used his athleticism and speed to thrive in a pass-rushing role at Texas, a skill set that should help him make the transition to the next level.
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Joseph Ossai Draft Profile
Ossai moved from a more traditional linebacker role to the Jack, a designated pass-rush role, in Texas’ defense last year, and he thrived. He’s an explosive athlete with the speed to win around the edge and the quick, active hands to keep blockers off of him. His closing burst allows him to finish plays when he wins early, and his motor is absolutely relentless; when he stalls early in his rush, he battles and makes second-effort plays frequently. He has the size and strength to set the edge as a run defender, with the speed to make plays in pursuit.
The physical tools are there for Ossai to win in a variety of ways as a pass rusher, but he’s unrefined. He doesn’t seem to have much of a game plan at the snap, and he too often lets blockers get hands on him when they probably shouldn’t. While he has experience dropping into coverage, he often didn’t look comfortable playing in space.
Even if the rough edges don’t get sanded down, his raw athleticism and motor will put pressure on blockers. And if he does refine his game, Ossai has a chance to be a star.
Final Grade: 1st/2nd round