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George Paton watching Micah Parsons, Jayson Oweh at Penn State Pro Day

Parsons is rated the top linebacker in the draft by many boards and could be a prospect for Denver with the ninth pick.

Penn State v Memphis Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

Broncos’ GM George Paton is attending Penn State’s Pro Day Thursday, according to multiple accounts.

At the top of his scouting list will be inside linebacker Micah Parsons as well as edge rusher Jayson Oweh.

Parsons, a 6-foot-2, 245-pound junior from Penn State, is ranked 8th overall on The Draft Network’s draft prospects for 2021 and highest-ranked linebacker. Oweh, the 6-foot-5 sophomore Nittany Lion, is 50th overall.

Parsons could be a viable pick for the Broncos in the first round and Oweh possibly a second or third-round pick, especially as recent free agent pickups lend the Broncos to drafting depth on defense - or at least not needing to fill starting gaps in the secondary.

Although Josey Jewell had a highlight year in 2020 and Alexander Johnson proved a strength there for Denver, Parsons would be a great asset, particularly as the position is a big need in today’s NFL with so many strong tight ends being major offensive targets.

The Draft Network believes Parsons’ ideal role is as a MIKE linebacker:

Micah Parsons projects as a dynamic impact player at the NFL level. Parsons, who elected to opt-out of the 2020 college football season, has two seasons of high-impact play on his film resume and his impact was only further affirmed as the Penn State defense fell apart without him on the field for the 2020 season. Parsons, who was a prized recruit as a pass rusher coming out of high school, is still ironing out some of finer points of play processing on the second level but his freakish combination of size and explosiveness allow him to explode and drive into gaps when he sees the play develop and as a result he’s a persistent winner of beating ball carriers and blockers to the spot between the tackles. Parsons is an impact player on third downs, which significantly boosts his value to pro teams and masks some of the inexperiences of transitioning to stack linebacker. He’s a dynamic blitzer and has the versatility to rush against offensive linemen and claim victories to get home to the quarterback. Parsons has illustrated an incredible level of pure instinct for the game thus far and his ability to navigate the line of scrimmage and rip at the football to create turnovers is best accentuated in an aggressive front defense that will task him with playing forward early in downs and not ask him to make flat footed reads before scraping and flowing to the ball.

The biggest concern for Parsons are off-the-field issues, so the key will be for Paton & Co. to do their due diligence and make sure Parsons would be a good locker room fit if he came to Denver.

Poll

Would you like to see Parsons drafted to Denver?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Absolutely. Broncos need a stronger LB room.
    (375 votes)
  • 48%
    As long as his off-field issues check out, sure.
    (476 votes)
  • 13%
    Not really.
    (132 votes)
983 votes total Vote Now

At edge rusher, the Broncos obviously have Von Miller and Bradley Chubb to do most of the dirty work, but both have had recent injuries and both are playing on the last year of their current contracts.

Plus, can you ever have too many great edge rushers? No. No, you cannot.

Here’s what The Draft Network had to say about Oweh, it’s seventh-ranked edge rusher:

Jayson Oweh projects as a developmental edge defender at the pro level. With rare length and athletic tools, Oweh has plenty of potential and his ceiling as a prospect is that of a 10-plus sack per season pass rusher. There’s explosiveness, bend, length, and ample room to build onto his frame. But any team drafting Oweh early is going to have to do so with the understanding that there’s probably going to be an incubation period before he enters the NFL and becomes the pass rusher he’s capable of being—this is a redshirt sophomore who played in just 20 collegiate football games and needs to mature both technically and physically before taking on a high volume of snaps. Oweh’s athletic ability will grant him sporadic reps, even as a rookie, to serve as a designated pass rusher, but I wouldn’t advocate for a high workload on early downs until he’s more filled out with his frame. Oweh is lean and can give up valuable real estate as a run defender; he’s lacking in the core and lower-body power to hold ground and stack up tackles. If you’re looking for a silver lining in his early-down role, he’ll win from wide angles and he has the functional athleticism in space to play as a 3-4 outside linebacker for any team looking to call upon his skills as more of a raw athlete. I do believe Oweh will reach his potential, but he’s young, relatively inexperienced, and needs more polish and more power rolled into his frame before he gets there.

Poll

Should the Broncos consider Jayson Oweh?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Great depth, yes.
    (199 votes)
  • 27%
    Sure, but I’d rather take a higher prospect at edge.
    (139 votes)
  • 34%
    Not really.
    (176 votes)
514 votes total Vote Now