Chris Owusu: Can he make the final cut for New York Jets?


Chris Owusu has a big journey ahead of him if he’s to crack the final roster of the New York Jets this summer. During my recent fishing trip, several of my friends and I discussed the receiving corp of the Jets at length. To my surprise my fellow Jet fans are down on Owusu, and don’t believe he will make even make the team this upcoming season. I’d like to take a little closer look at Owusu and tell you why I think he’s going to actually have a big year for the Jets.

Owusu was signed by the Jets on September 29th of 2014. He came into the NFL as an UDFA in 2012, eventually being signed by the San Francisco 49ers. After being cut by the team, the San Diego Chargers signed him to their practice squad. Owusu then was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and saw limited playing time for them in 2013 before again being waived.

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In 2012, he posted the second fastest time in the forty yard dash at the NFL Combine, posting an official time of 4.36 seconds. A collegiate track star, Owusu also posted a 40.5 inch vertical jump to go along with a 10’9″ broad jump. Owusu stands 6’0″ and weighs in at 196 pounds. He went undrafted in 2012 due to injury concerns but has avoided any major injuries since entering the league.

Owusu played his college ball at Stanford University. His collegiate career was riddled with injuries, the main concern has been his tendencies to suffer concussions. After a serious concussion in his senior year, Owusu sought help from the medical community. Prior to the 2012 NFL Draft, his doctors gave Owusu a clean bill of health and said they believed the concussion problem was behind him. Interestingly, he hasn’t suffered a concussion in three years as a pro.

At Sanford, Owusu was a versatile player. In four years there, he recorded 102 receptions for 1,534 yards. That comes out to a 15.0 yard average on each reception. That’s not all Owusu accomplished at Stanford either. He also returned kickoffs, in 78 returns he posted 2,132 yards for a 27.3 average. If that were not enough, he also posted 176 yards rushing on just 11 carries for an 11 yard average.

At Tampa Bay,  Owusu played in just 14 games as he posted 14 receptions on 24 targets for 138 yards and one touchdown. His playing time was limited in his first two years but he caught two deep passes, one for 20 yards and another for 26 yards. The Buccaneers cut him after just three games of the 2014 season.

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

Owusu’s Jet career has been a short one to say the least. After being signed in September to the practice squad, he spent most of the 2014 season watching the game. Due to an injury to Greg Salas, Owusu was assigned to the 53-man roster on December 4th of 2014. He saw action for the Jets in five games down the stretch. He managed 4 receptions on 4 targets for 58 yards, for a respectable 14.3 yard average.

The final game of the 2014 season against the Miami Dolphins was Owusu’s biggest game for the Jets. In that game, he turned some heads as he caught a long bomb from Geno Smith and showed some of his versatility by also scampering through the Dolphins’ defense on a rushing opportunity.

Now you might be saying that Owusus has not shown much in three years at the pro level, and I’d have to say you were right. I do believe he hasn’t been given much of a chance to prove he belongs on the other hand. He has stayed healthy and his development has been steady. In December, the coaching staff passed on all the other drafted wide receivers that were on the practice squad to activate Owusu. The Jets saw his development in drills and gave him the nod.

Owusu made some fans in last year’s season finale. Early on this year, he’s grabbing the attention of the new coaching staff as well. Bowles singled him out this spring for his work ethic and reporters have said he looks good this spring. Owusu will need to compete and prove his worth this summer, but it’s my opinion that he’s going to have a big year.

Dec 7, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chris Owusu (14) makes a catch in front of Minnesota Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson (21) during the second quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is known for using multiple personnel in his receiver sets and that will allow guys like Owusu to see the field more often. Owusu’s speed and versatility make him an ideal candidate to contribute in Gailey’s offense. He has experience as a kick returner and will be able to contribute on special teams. The Jets also could use him out of the backfield on screen plays or even reverses. Owusu’s speed could also become a deep threat in the Jets’ offense, something which has been lacking for several years.

Owusu is a physical and fast wide receiver with adequate size. He has the athleticism to contribute in the run game, the passing game and even on special teams. Owusu’s versatility, in my opinion, will win him a spot on this team. Given the chance, I believe Owusu becomes a major contributor on offense. The Jets found a diamond here, and would be wise to polish it!

There’s my take on Chris Owusu. My friends had some negative things to say about this kid, but I don’t think they are giving him a fair shake. The player is fast, has a good set of hands and sees the field well. What’s your take on him? Do you think he can contribute this year? We here at The Jet Press want to hear your opinion! Leave us a comment and as always, Let’s Talk Jet Football!!

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