Strengths: Body control. Long strider who builds to speed. Adjusts over the wrong shoulder to make tough catches (UCF ’16). He finds a way to win on jump balls through positioning and upper body strength (Tulane ’17-Nickerson; Minter-MTSU ’17). The team moves him both inside and outside in their schemes. No false steps off the ball in his two-point stance if uncovered. Accelerates into slant routes with a controlled straight-stem. Exhibits nice patience on deep stops outside the numbers. Makes the low-ball scoop snags near the ground. Extends his inside arm to overpower CBs in press coverage (P.I. vs. Jackson, Marshall ’17). Has won on slant-and-go routes in the RZ (TD, Marshall ’17).
Weaknesses: Does not impress going in to crack block on safeties (Marshall ’17). Allowed a skinny post to slip through his hands vs. Old Dominion in 2014. Covers just five yards in his first four steps. Displays limited energy setting up post-corners as an X-WR. Questionable long gear on nine routes. Sinking at the top of his routes has been an issue dating back to 2014. Fails to consistently come back downhill for the ball (UCF ’16-PBU, Killings). Knee injury cut short his 2017 campaign.He’s made questionable decisions blocking back towards his GL (clip, UCF ’16). Will run the stutter-and-go outside the numbers (as an X-WR) but does not re-accelerate into the second portion of the pattern.
- Attended Atlantic Community HS (Fla.) and played football/basketball
- Averaged 12.6 PPG in basketball at the prep level
- 9 receptions for 166 yards vs. Indiana on 9/12/15
- 2015 (12 sts): 51 catches for 638 yards (12.5 YPR) and 8 TDs
- 11 catches for 148 yards and 2 TDs vs. Charlotte on 10/15/16
- 2016 (12 sts, Honorable mention All-C-USA): 47 catches for 652 yards (13.9 YPR) and 7 TDs
- 11 catches for 162 yards and one TD vs. MTSU on 10/7/17
- 2017 (9 gms, 1st Team All-C-USA): 59 catches for 887 yards (15 YPR) and 6 TDs
- Career Stats: 40 games, 157 receptions for 2,177 yards (13.9 YPR) and 21 TDs; One TD pass; 11.4 yds/PR
Summary: Owens did not receive a combine invite and he will have to make up for it on his Pro Day. His speed is a question mark entering the postseason. We were impressed with the physicality he showed as a runner after the catch. Look no further than the Middle Tennessee State game as a senior to observe how relentlessly he attacks the football down the field. His tenacity as a blocker was up-and-down for the most part in the film viewed, but it is an area that has improved over the course of his career. The Panthers ranked No. 1 at the FBS level in Red Zone efficiency in 2017. A big part of the reason was Owens’ ability to draw coverage in their balanced attack. He finished his career with 21 touchdown grabs. He has late-round value if he can clear the medical checks on his knee by NFL teams.
DraftNasty’s Grade: 5.082 (5th Round)
Editor’s Note: DraftNasty’s grades on players are compiled from our eight identifying characteristics and do not constitute a draft projection.