Joseph Ossai NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Cincinnati Bengals Edge

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IMay 1, 2021

Texas linebacker Joseph Ossai (46) forces a fumble by Oklahoma running back T.J. Pledger (5) during an NCAA college football game in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

 6'3 3/4"



— Played multiple positions in college, including as a true linebacker in 2019 and as an edge defender in 2020.

— His first step is much better than it appears at first glance due to the fact that he played a run-first role similar to Danielle Hunter at LSU.

— Solid footspeed to run down the backside of plays since bodies are needed to limit his pursuit.

— A natural athlete who plays like a true linebacker in open space.

— His calling card as a pass-rusher is his dip-and-rip move.

— Flashes as an impact tackler who gives up little to no knockback.


— Due to his role with the team, it is hard to gauge his true on-field athleticism because of what has been asked of him.

— Is overly reliant on his strength relative to how strong he actually is.

— Pad level is too high at times.

— In general, he seems off-tempo as a pass-rusher, potentially because he cannot get in rhythm due to the scheme.


55 TKL, 15.5 TFL, 5.5 SK, 2 PD, 1 FR, 3 FF


— Multisport athlete in high school who participated in soccer, track and basketball in addition to football.

— Moved to the United States from Nigeria when he was 10 years old.


Joseph Ossai is a great run defender who has been productive as a linebacker and as an edge defender in back-to-back seasons. His on-field athleticism is above average, but it comes and goes with specified roles that do not prioritize his get-off on a down-to-down basis. He is more of an unknown than a known, but he is versatile and a consistent run defender, which sets a high floor for his professional career.

GRADE: 7.81/10 (Second Round)



PRO COMPARISON: LSU-era Danielle Hunter

Written by B/R NFL Scout Justis Mosqueda


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.