Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Player Profile #42: Akwasi Owusu-Ansah

Akwasi Owusu-Ansah
Position: Safety
Size: 6'0, 207
Age: 23, 4/10/88
College:Indiana (PA)
Drafted: 2010: Round 4, Pick 126
Experience: 1 season

Salary History and Contract Status - 7/19/2010: Signed a four-year, $2.240 million contract. The deal included a $450,522 signing bonus. 2011: $405,000, 2012: $490,000, 2013: $575,000, 2014: Free Agent

2010 Draft Profile From Akwasi Owusu-Ansah - 6'0 - 207 - 4.44 (40) Three-year starter. Small college athlete that has good speed and talent. A big corner that is durable and was productive over his college career. Long legs prohibit him from keeping low in his backpedal. Average hip flexibility and loose hips for a smooth turn and burst. Needs to learn various techniques required by a defensive back. A developmental size and speed prospect. Could run with any receiver that he faced in college. Not naturally instinctive to run or pass. Will need repetition in zone coverage. Will need to get accustomed to tackling bigger and faster ball carriers. Has ability, but needs work. In his career he had 73 tackles, 19 passes broken up, and 10 interceptions. Fourth/Fifth Round.

2010: The book on AOA is still entirely unwritten. He was drafted with a shoulder injury that kept him out of off-season work until training camp began in San Antonio in late July. At that point, he was attempting to learn a position he had never played at a level of football well beyond what he was accustomed to at Indiana of PA. 28 players took a defensive snap in a regular season game for the Cowboys in 2010, and Owusu-Ansah was not one of them. He did show some very interesting tools and potential in the 2010 preseason and the interest level was high entering the season. But, when he returned kicks in the first 7 games, despite having speed that suggested he would be a very dangerous return man, the reality was that he was about as average a returner as you could have. Appearing to lack the vision to find the crease, the Cowboys saw a dramatic improvement in the return game when he was lost for the season and replaced by Bryan McCann. He was placed on injured reserve after the Jacksonville game, even though it was believed he could have returned if the team was in a better position to compete in 2010.

2011 Analysis: Drafted as a player the Cowboys thought could be a conversion player to free safety after playing cornerback in college, there is certainly a fair investment riding on his development. The beauty if this pays off is that he could play either corner or safety in a pinch. But, obviously, he has to do one of those well enough at a NFL level to justify the roster spot. It should be noted that in the 2009 draft, the Cowboys also thought they could convert their 5th round corner, DeAngelo Smith from Cincinnati, to safety and he was subsequently released out of training camp. He is a player that could use all of the work he can get has missed the 2010 off-season with injury and the 2011 off-season with the lockout. It is believed that the Cowboys were getting a solution to their kick return options as well, but after he lacked any sort of explosion in almost a half-season of work in that department, now he seems to be a ways down the chart of ideal return men in 2011. Perhaps the Cowboys are trying to tell us something when they largely ignored the position in the draft, but we can only speculate about that until we see who is manning the position when they get to training camp. Surely, the idea of Owusu-Ansah playing a significant role is still a ways down to road, and they are in the market for one of the starting free safeties around the league who will be available in free agency. There are questions about AOA's instincts and his willingness to tackle, and until those are both answered, we should not count on much in the present tense from this project on the Cowboys' roster. I would not surrender hope for his future - although with 53 man rosters, the NFL does not have much time or space for long-term projects. He will need to show the Cowboys some promise quickly, or they might consider moving along already.

Previous Profiles:

Miles Austin

Alan Ball

Marion Barber

Alex Barron

Martellus Bennett

Stephen Bowen

Josh Brent

Keith Brooking

Dez Bryant

Victor Butler

Tashard Choice

Marc Colombo

Phil Costa

Leonard Davis

Doug Free

Andre Gurode

Montrae Holland

Jesse Holley

Sam Hurd

Bradie James

Mike Jenkins

Felix Jones

Kyle Kosier

Sean Lee

Bryan McCann

Terence Newman

Kevin Ogletree

Igor Olshansky

John Phillips

Jay Ratliff

Orlando Scandrick

Gerald Sensabaugh

Marcus Spears

Anthony Spencer

DeMarcus Ware

Brandon Williams

Leon Williams

Roy Williams

Jason Witten

Sam Young


Brett said...

Bob, why do you do this to yourself?

Brett said...

Bob, why do you do this to yourself?