New York Jets: A Closer Look At Chris Owusu


Dec 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chris Owusu (14) scores a touchdown as Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes (21) can

As everyone knows the Jets are in the middle of a search to bring in replacements for fired General Manager John Idzik and Head Coach Rex Ryan. As such, the headlines have been consumed with the search, and most of the fans are expressing a myriad of opinions on each and every candidate. The talk about the draft and the #6 overall pick that the Jets own in the upcoming draft has slowed as well.  Without neither of the jobs being filled, it is difficult to predict where they may go in the draft.

Today I’d like to step away from all the controversy and take a look at a player that had a great game in the season finale. That player is Chris Owusu, a wide receiver who has bounced around a bit in his early career, and spent most of the 2014 season on the Jets practice squad. He’s one of the fringe players on the Jets roster, so let’s take a look.

Sep 14, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Owusu (80) runs with the ball during the second half against the St. Louis Rams at Raymond James Stadium. St. Louis Rams defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-17. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Owusu went undrafted after the 2012 draft and signed with the San Fransisco 49ers. He was cut by the 49ers without ever seeing the regular season. San Diego picked him up off the wire and  they assigned him to their practice squad. Owusu  was signed off the Chargers practice squad in that same year by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In Tampa, Owusu was on the active roster for the remainder of the 2012 season, seeing limited action in five games. In 2013, he played in none games for the Bucs, putting up 116 yards on 13 receptions and five first downs. He then made the active roster in 2014 before being cut by the Bucs after just three games. His totals in those three games were just three receptions for 20 yards, and his first professional TD.

The Jets signed him September 29th, 2014 and assigned him to the practice squad. He was cut from the Jets practice on November 1, but was resigned there again two days later. On December 4, Owusu was activated after Greg Salas was placed on the injured reserve list.

Dec 7, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chris Owusu (14) bobbles and then catches a pass as Minnesota Vikings cornerback

Josh Robinson

(21) tackles him in the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

On the surface, Chris Owusu doesn’t look like much. He went undrafted due to a number of college concussions and concerns about his durability. He played his college football at Stanford and has bounced around quite a bit in his early years as a professional. So why would I be covering him, you might wonder. It’s because I think there is more to Owusu then the meager stats of his early career may suggest. Let’s look a little deeper.

Chris Owusu is listed at 6’2″ and 200 lbs. by ESPN. Owusu signed a two year deal with the Jets for a reported $1,230,ooo in 2014. His cap hit this year was a meager $134,117 dollars while he earned a bargain salary of $570,000. Next season he’s due to make $660,000, all of which will count against the cap, just for those that can keep track of all the details. Owusu is a bargain going forward if he can continue to develop and produce.

Owusu turned in some nice results in the 2012 NFL Combine. He was the second fastest wide receiver at the combine, posting 40 yard times of 4.26, 4.31, and 4.43. In the 20 yard dash he put up a time of 2.50 seconds and covered the 10 yd distance in 1.49 seconds. Owusu has plenty of speed to compete in the NFL.

To go along with his speed, Owusu boasts a 40 1/2″ vertical jump along with a 10’9″ broad jump. His official times in the three cone drill was 6.85 seconds to go along with a time of 4.11 seconds in the 20 yard shuttle drill. His hands measure out at 8″. Not too shabby for an undrafted free agent!

Dec 28, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chris Owusu (14) scores a touchdown as Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes (21) can

In the final game of the 2014 season against the Dolphins, we got to see what Owusu can do. His game that day gave us a 23 yard run for a TD. It was a spectacular run displaying his speed, some excellent moves in the open field, and he showed good field vision as well. Later on in the game, Owusu made another huge contribution in the receiving game as well, catching his only target of the game from Geno Smith on a deep ball down the sidelines for 36 yards. Afterwards, I began to think of what Owusu’s year would have been if the Jets had used him. I couldn’t help but think that with his speed and the versatility he displayed, that he could be a very inexpensive version of Percy Harvin.

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I don’t think we have seen the best of Chris Owusu yet. I’m hoping he will be on the roster next year. He could be an efficient returner for the Jets next season while providing back up talent at the position. He has adequate size and more then enough speed to be a contributor. I envision he him being an option on reverses, quick screens and as a option in the run game. Our new offensive coordinator, whomever that may turn out to be, should give Owusu a very close look next season. His speed and versatility could make him a very good option for our offense next season, and as we all know the Jets could use all the offensive weapons then they can find!

I think there is a place for Chris Owusu on next year’s roster. I believe if his game continues to develop and he can stay healthy, Owusu has a bright future for the Jets! What do you guys think? Its time for comments. Let’s Talk Jets football!