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Cowboys 2021 draft prospects: Texas EDGE Joseph Ossai scouting report

Could Texas EDGE Joseph Ossai be an option at 44 if he slips out of the first round?

Texas v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Somewhere along the line in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cowboys will pick up a pass rusher. DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory will be the starters, but behind them will be a scramble for playing time. A newly-drafted rookie will likely be in that mix. If the Cowboys go early with the position, like somewhere in the second round, Joseph Ossai could be an option.

Name: Joseph Ossai

School: Texas

Height: 6-4

Weight: 256

Class: Junior

Position: EDGE

Jersey: #46

Strengths:

Explosive edge defender with the ability to disrupt pocket with explosive first step and elite arm length at the position. Shows twitched up hand and arm movements to get to the quarterback. Has some violent pop in his hands at the point of attack to knock blockers back on their heels. Locks out his arms, and works well down the line of scrimmage to fill gaps and clog running lanes. Has a linebacker background, so has natural feel for spacing when attacking laterally. Extremely high-effort player with a motor that runs hot for 100% of the snaps. Tested extremely well in all explosive metrics at pro day. Ascending player, that has only had one real season focusing on playing the EDGE role. Has first-round up-side and ability.

Weaknesses:

Isn’t the bendiest edge in the world, and that shows in his hip and ankle tightness when turning the corner. While the first step has juice, it’s often late off-the-ball. Has a tendency to run the arch too high, taking himself outside of the pocket and out of the play. Needs to do a better job of playing up to his physical stature both as a run defender and as a pass rusher.

Overall Summary:

Joseph Ossai is an ascending player, with high-quality physical and explosive traits at the EDGE position. Had some very high-quality rushes throughout the season at Texas, but needs to find more consistency with his hand technique, pass-rush plan, and quickness off the ball. For only having one year at the EDGE position, Ossai offers extraordinary value as an explosive pass rusher. He showed the traits to hold up on all three downs in the NFL as he continues to develop both his body and technique. When turning on his tape, it’s hard not to fall in love with his hot motor, explosiveness, and ability to finish plays in the backfield for the Longhorns defense. While Ossai shouldn’t be a candidate with the 10th overall pick, if he does fall out of the first round, the Cowboys could look to move up, or hope that he falls all the way to 44.

Round Grade:

2

Tape Highlights: