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Chris Owusu: 2014 and Beyond

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Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Owusu was an in season signing for the Jets in 2014. He managed to get himself active for five games, the best of which was the season finale in Miami.

Owusu made quite an impact in that game. In the first quarter he made a beautiful leaping catch against double coverage for a 36 yard gain. He finished that drive taking a pitch from Geno Smith around right end 23 yards to the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. He did a nice job on the run setting up Dolphins safety Jordan Kovacs, baiting a bad angle and then changing direction. He then returned the second half kickoff 87 yards, making himself small slipping through a small crease in the blocking and exploding through it.

It was a shining moment for a player undrafted out of Stanford in 2012. He played with the Bucs for a few years and had a cup of coffee in a few other organizations. What are the odds this one game was not just a fluke?

They might not be the best in the world, but Owusu might have a better shot of making some sort of impact on an NFL roster than you would think. He's very fast, timed at a 4.36 time in the 40 yard dash. That alone might not mean a lot. Plenty of players who run fast do not stick in the NFL. There is one pretty discernable skill, though, that no NFL team has explored deeply. He posted a robust 27.3 yard average on kickoff returns and took 3 of his 78 returns for touchdowns. In the NFL he has only gotten to run back three kickoffs. One was that 87 yard return. Another went for 45 with Tampa Bay. While the sample size is quite small, the end around and the kickoff return in Miami were about more than just raw speed. He slipped through a block on the return and made a subtle move to slip a potential tackle by a safety on the run.

When we are talking about bottom of the roster spots in training camp, there are no great bets. The odds are against almost everybody. Owusu at least seems like a marginally better lottery ticket than a lot of the players the Jets could bring in. There is certainly a skill there, the raw speed. There also have been flashes in limited work. When it comes to the last roster spots it seems worth exploring what he can bring.

Would I bet the ranch on Owusu becoming a player? The odds are probably a lot better that he won't. It's certainly conceivable he could give the Jets some value as a kick returner and as a playmaker in space at a very low cost, though.