With the 2021 NFL Draft approaching, the Cleveland Browns will have their own tastes and board based on what they are trying to do in every phase of the game. Based on what is known about what they want to do, some prospects stand out as fits including Joseph Ossai, edge rusher from Texas.
Age: Unavailable. Declared as a true junior.
Height: 6’3 3/4″
Weight: 256 pounds (Pro Day)
Arm Length: 33 7/8″
40-Yard Dash: 4.63
Vertical: 41 1/2″
Broad Jump: 10’11”
Bench Press: 19 reps
It would’ve been nice if Ossai tested agility, but it looks good on tape. His explosion, particularly his jumps are outstanding. Although the date is unavailable, Ossai is still quite young.
Production: 62 solo tackles (11 percent), 13.5 tackles for loss (16.2 percent), 5 sacks (18.5 percent) in the 2019 season. 26 solo tackles (6.8 percent), 16 tackles for loss (21.6 percent. 5 sacks (31.2 percent) in 2020 season.
Ossai is a relentless ball of energy that plays until the echo of the whistle. His stamina and willingness to chase plays down is incredible. With his physical talent, part of the draw for a player like Ossai is the fact he brings so much of it on every snap and basically never comes off the field.
Ossai is raw, but shows excellent instincts as a pass rusher. He’s not afraid to go right at the opponent, then utilize moves to shed blocks and commence chasing the play. He can win running around the arc.
Occasionally, he doesn’t bring enough power, opting to be passive when taking on blocks and giving up ground. For example, running the arc, he will sometimes allow the blocker to string him out, making him take a longer path to get free where he’s unable to get involved in the play.
As a run defender, Ossai still often looks like a linebacker, which is what he had been playing before this season. He will occasionally get totally engulfed by opposing blockers and get knocked to the ground. To his credit, he keeps getting up and continues efforting, but the sheer amount of time he ends up on the ground is perhaps the biggest issue with Ossai’s game at this point.
Ossai has experience playing on both the left and the right, from a 3-point stance as well as a stand up edge rusher. He’s big enough to play a true defensive end position, but particularly on run downs, he might be more comfortable standing up with a little space.
The Browns defense employed by Joe Woods can and has allowed for this type of player. When he was with the Denver Broncos as defensive coordinator, Von Miller would stand up with Bradley Chubb as a true end. The Browns could do the same with Ossai and Myles Garrett.
The Browns might be an ideal landing spot for Ossai, because he offers them speed and some options in how they want to line up their defensive scheme, but they don’t need necessarily need him to contribute a significant amount immediately. They can afford to bring him along at his own pace, be a nice rotational option and allow his infectious energy to be a spark plug for the defense.
Ossai could provide a similar dynamic to Takkarist McKinley and if he can prove effective, potentially take over that role down the line.
Where the Browns Might Select Him: Ossai is a solid second round and it’s just a matter of figuring out where they need to be in order to select him. It’s not impossible he could last until 59, but it’s probably more prudent to make a move up to get him.
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