TDN Scouting Roundtable: Texas' Joseph Ossai A Hidden Gem

Photo: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like the 2020 NFL Draft just happened, but we move fast here at The Draft Network.

Currently going through summer evaluations for the 2021 NFL Draft class, our scouting team of Kyle Crabbs, Joe Marino, Jordan Reid, and Drae Harris are meeting up every day to discuss prospects, traits, and concepts. New to TDN is a daily scouting roundtable where we go through and identify the most important points of conversation from that day’s meeting.

On Monday, Reid talked at length about an impressive Texas Longhorns product.

Outstanding Ossai

Although our team’s summer scouting is coming to a close, Reid found a relatively hidden gem before today’s session. His name? Joseph Ossai.

Born in Lagos and coming over to America at 10 years old, Ossai was a four-sport athlete in his high school days, playing the likes of soccer, basketball, track, and football. Recruited to Texas as a 4-star prospect, he started two out of 14 games as a true freshman, before taking over and suiting up in a full-fledged starting role last season.

Aligning both on the edge as a defensive end and at the WILL position like a linebacker, Ossai essentially did everything for the Longhorns' defense in 2019, racking up five sacks, two interceptions, and leading the team in both tackles and tackles for loss.

“I was really impressed with this dude, man. He was a pleasant surprise and I was mad I didn’t watch him earlier,” Reid stated during the meeting. “He’s able to make plays from various types of starting spots and he shows plenty of foot speed and quickness when triggering as a WILL. He’s the ideal height/weight/speed player at the position whose best days may be ahead of him. Even though he’s still relatively raw, he has many of the baseline traits necessary to become highly appealing (as a prospect).”

A run-and-chase type of player, Reid went on to note that Ossai needed refinement both as a rusher and in coverage, although a lot of that seemed to fall on coaching and usage

“He made tremendous strides as a true sophomore, but his biggest limitations come in pass coverage. He has plenty of athleticism to be reliable (in this regard), but he needs to learn to play under control and understand what exactly is going on around him (at all times),” Reid stated. “I think for him, it’s just a matter of becoming more comfortable at a certain position. They play him so much at both (EDGE and LB) and he hasn’t really found a home at either yet.”

All in all, Reid was extremely impressed, as he handed out a pretty high grade.

“His best role (in the NFL) is as a WILL position three-down linebacker. The name I wrote down, even though this guy plays inside, is (Houston Texans LB) Benardrick McKinney,” Reid stated. “I think McKinney went in the top of the second round, and it wouldn’t surprise me if (Ossai) gets some first-round talk. I gave him a top-100 grade (currently), but that’s more like top-60.”

Assuming we get a college football season, it seems like Ossai is a name that fans, scouts, and the media will need to learn. If Reid’s glowing evaluation is any indication, he’s going to break out in a big way. It’s only a matter of time.

Prospects Evaluated: Joseph Ossai EDGE Texas, Michael Penix Jr. QB Indiana, Mac Jones QB Alabama, Cade Johnson WR South Dakota State, Tre’ Walker WR San Jose State, Michael Dwumfour IDL Rutgers, Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech, Janarius Robinson EDGE Florida State, Tuli Letuligasenoa IDL Washington

Written By:

Carter Donnick

Publications Intern

Publications Intern at The Draft Network. Very Canadian.