Joseph Ossai has Leonard Floyd upside in 2021 NFL draft
Joseph Ossai was a four-star recruit for the Texas Longhorns. He played sparingly as a freshman but started to see the field more in year two. Ossai was used as an off-ball linebacker who would come in and pass rush at times. However, that is where the Longhorns realized that he needed to be unleashed as a pass rusher.
In 2020, Ossai was a full-time pass rusher and had more sacks and tackles for loss in nine games he did in 13 the year prior. Ossai is a young and inexperienced pass rusher but has started to gain traction and success. Where we will he go in the 2021 NFL draft, and what is his upside?
Joseph Ossai Career Stats
Joseph Ossai size and athleticsm
Joseph Ossai participated in his Pro day with Texas recently. Below are his measurments.
Positive Traits That Joseph Ossai brings to the NFL
You can see from his testing numbers that he has explosive traits and great speed for his size. Beyond that, this is a player who moved from a hybrid linebacker to an edge rusher, so you know that he is pretty fluid. All of that shows on video when you are watching Joseph Ossai.
Ossai sprints off of the edge and does a great job chasing down the passer and beating tackles around the corner with his speed. This also shows in his ability to stunt and use inside moves where he plants his foot and explodes.
Ossai also has a nasty demeanor against the run where he works to set the edge, and always finishes plays through the whistle. With his linebacker experience, he looks fluid dropping into coverage and changing direction as well. With his limited experience, there is a floor of getting him on the field ass a pass rush specialist that you can scheme up pressure with.
Areas of concern for Joseph Ossai in the 2021 NFL draft
Most of Ossai best rushes come as chasing down the QB as the back side rusher who was unblocked, or winning with stunts and schemed pressure. There are moments he flashes athleticism, but there are moments where he does not know how to use it and gets halted.
He is still learning how to leverage his arms and disengage when blockers do get their hands on him. While he shows a dog mentality against the run, when blockers can get clean strikes into his chest, they can take him on a ride.
Teven Jenkins, a potential first round pick has highlight reel videos tossing Ossai aside. This is not due to lack of size, or athletcism. Ossai is putting himself in bad situations and technical lineman get him off balance and into his body where he is helpless.
NFL Comparison for Joseph Ossai
If you read the title you know this on. Looking at his Pro day numbers, and finding NFL comparisons, there are not many. Few people weigh 250 pounds and can jump 40 inches in the air. In fact, Leonard Floyd did not either, although he did get 39.5″ at 244. Ossai has a bit more sand in his pants, but the two are similar rushes who win in very similar manners.
When Floyd came out some wondered if he would be considered an off-ball linebacker. He was a bit of a hybrid at Georgia in the manner that Texas used Ossai.
Floyd has been known to struggle with one-on-one disengagement to this day. He wins with the Rams using stunts, and hitting holes that Aaron Donald creates. Still, you cannot knock the raw athletcism to finish these attempts. Most others cannot get to the quarterback that fast, even when set up.
Floyd, like Ossai also brings reliabiluty against the run and in coverage. It took Floyd some time, but he found a huge pay day this offseason with the Rams. Ossai may have an up and down development, but in the right scheme could thrive.
Does Joseph Ossai fit with Chicago Bears?
Sean Dessai learned under Vic Fangio who drafted Leonard Floyd. Brandon Staley, the linebackers coach for the Bears under Fangio signed Floyd to the Rams. It is fair to say that Dessai may value a linebacker who the traits that Ossai has more than Chuck Pagano, who prefered a less versatile rusher like Robert Quinn.
With that in mind, the Bears have to have interest. The issue is the need. Thanks to Ryan Pace, the Bears are stuck with Robert Quinn and his contract another season. He rushed to sign Jeremiah Attaochu out of fear of losing Barkevious Mingo. Of course, the have Khalil Mack.
With James Vaughters and Trevis Gipson, they have invested too much in this position to draft any one before day three. Ossai is too raw for the top 10 like Floyd, but would have to be in the conversation for the Bears second round pick.
The fit is perfect, but the need and draft slot do not add up for a team that has so many needs elsewhere.