In terms of evaluating on-field performance heading in to this off-season, you won’t get a much smaller sample size to work with than the Jets will with Wide Receiver Chris Owusu. The wideout played just 79 snaps in five games for Gang Green, but when he was on the field he took full advantage of the few opportunities he was presented.
Owusu, signed by the Jets after being let go by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in late September had registered just sixteen catches as he was buried deep down on Tampa Bay’s depth chart in just over two seasons. When the Bucs chose to drop Owusu, the receiver hungry Jets decided to give him a shot.
It was a week fourteen loss in Minnesota when Owusu made what may very well be one of the best catches in the NFL this season. It was only a seven yard grab on 3rd & 7 in the second quarter, but it showed incredible concentration and hands on the part of Owusu. The receiver pulled in a pass while trying to make a leaping grab on a Geno Smith pass that sailed high and he was grabbed and spun to the ground by Minnesota CB Josh Robinson. As the ball popped popped high in the air while he was dragged down, Owusu located the ball and corralled it with his right arm before it hit the turf. One play, just seven yards, but an eye-opening effort from Owusu.
Fast forward to week 17 in Miami, where Owusu was in on 28 plays, (a season high with the Jets) and managed to make another circus catch early on. This time it was a leaping 36 yard grab in double coverage that helped set the tone in the first quarter of what would end up being the best game of QB Geno Smith’s career. Owusu would eventually cap that same drive taking an end around from Smith down the right sideline. Owusu covered 23 yards virtually untouched for his second career touchdown and a 7-3 Jets lead. After his impressive grab and long touchdown run, Owusu wasn’t done. He later tacked on an 87 yard kick return, giving him 146 total yards on the day.
A 6′ 195 lb speedster out of Stanford who posted a 4.36 40 at the NFL combine in 2012, Owusu clearly has the speed to succeed at this level. If the plays he made in just a handful of chances this season is any indication, this could very well be a young player manages to stick around as the Jets look to re-build a roster in dire need of offensive playmakers.
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