NFL Mock Draft: ESPN’s Mel Kiper projects Jayson Oweh to Saints

Jayson Oweh #28 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Jayson Oweh #28 of the Penn State Nittany Lions (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Penn State Football defensive end Jayson Oweh’s NFL Draft stock has been surging in recent weeks, and at this point it would be more of a surprise if he wasn’t chosen in the first-round than if he goes off the board in the top-30 picks.

Oweh, despite not producing a sack last season, is one of the more intriguing defensive prospects in this year’s class because of his immense athleticism and tantalizing potential to be a disruptive pass-rusher at the NFL level.

In his latest NFL Mock Draft, released Thursday, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projects Oweh to the New Orleans Saints with the 28 overall selection.

The Saints could use pass-rush help, and because they currently sit $69.5 million over the cap, in the worst salary cap situation in the league, likely will not be competing for the top pass-rushers in free agency.

Last season, New Orleans produced 45 sacks, and generated pressure on 26.3 percent of snaps, but adding Oweh could give the front-seven a boost.

Oweh would have the chance to compete for snaps immediately, after producing an 80.3 pass-rush grade, according to Pro Football Focus, with an 18.4 pass-rush win-rate and an 89.8 run-stopping grade.

“You can’t keep players with Oweh’s level of freakish tools away from the quarterback,” PFF says in its annual NFL Draft guide. “He’s only scratching the surface.”

Given his limited production, Oweh is going to have the opportunity to support his meteoric rise during Penn State’s pro day next month, where he’ll have the opportunity to run the 40-yard dash and participate in on-field drills in front of what will likely be representatives from all 32 teams.

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