When Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ascended into a first round pick during the 2008 NFL Draft process, it was a surprise given that he played at a Division I-AA school (Tennessee State) and ended the ’07 college football season as a potential third round prospect. But after he proved to be one of the elite cornerbacks at the Senior Bowl and the Scouting Combine, NFL scouts took notice and he played his way into the opening frame of the draft.
At the Division II level this season, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) cornerback Akwasi Owusu-Ansah has drawn comparisons to Rodgers-Cromartie, and Scout.com has confirmed that scouts from the Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns and New York Giants have visited IUP within the last week to check out Owusu-Ansah.
The 6-foot-1, 195 pound playmaking corner is coming off of a junior campaign where he had eight interceptions - one which he returned for a 74-yard touchdown - but registered just 14 tackles in 10 games. His interception total is quite impressive, and the amount of passes he gets his hands on is staggering; he finished the ’08 season with 18 passes defended. Owusu-Ansah has great size, but doesn't play physical consistently. He possesses tremendous instincts and anticipates the action as well as anyone in the nation, but he’s the ultimate gambler that will give up a big play in order to get a turnover. In most cases, he will get his hands on the ball, but if he were to bring that mentality to the next level he would get burned.
Owusu-Ansah is currently the 12th rated cornerback (100th overall) in Scout.com’s 2010 NFL Draft Rankings. There have only been six players from IUP drafted into the NFL, the most notable being former NFL Head Coach and now UFL Head Coach Jim Haslett, who was selected by the Buffalo Bills as a linebacker in the second round of the 1979 draft. Owusu-Ansah is currently projected to be a third – fourth round pick.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.