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Breaking Down Owens' Athleticism & Potential Impact | Washington Commanders


Written By Adam Aniba


The UDFA market was fast and furious post-draft. Washington made Texas Tech defensive back Tyler Owens one of their priority signings and the standout special teamer could open eyes during training camp.


Tyler Owens

6'2" 216 lbs | DB | TEX TECH

WSH UDFA

Career UT'19-'21 (17 games)-13 TAK (10 solo), 0.5 TFLs & 1 PD

'23 Stats (10 games)- 37 TAK (30 solo), 1.0 TFLs & 1 PD

Background

Owens grew up Plano, TX and played football for Plano East High School in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. As a senior the defenisve back registered 67 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions and 8 pass breakups. For his efforts he was named to the 1st-Team All-District 9-6A squad in '18.


As one of the top high school defensive backs in the country, Owens helped lead Plano East to an 8-3 record and a Class 6A playoff appearance.


Owens was named a 4-star prospect by ESPN and ranked was the 21st ranked safety nationally by Rivals.


Owens received significant attention during the recruiting process and ultimately committed to Texas University for the 2019 season.


The Plano East defensive back played for the Longhorns for 3 seasons (2019-2021) with the majority of his time spent on special teams. During that span Owens recorded 3 tackles (10 solo), 0.5 tackles for a loss and 1 pass breakup.

At the conclusion of the 2021 season, Owens elected to transfer to Texas Tech.


In '22 Owens was active in all 12 games with 2 starts. He recorded 19 tackles, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles and a blocked field goal.


Although Owens would miss 2 games due to ankle injury in 2023, he started a career high 9 games (played in 10 games) for the Red Raiders. On the season Owens recorded 37 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, 2 passes defended.


Owens lined up at safety, as well as the Red Raiders vaunted hybrid "Star" role, which allowed him to play close to the line as an enforcer.


Per PFF Owens played 570 snaps on defense and was targeted 28 times (16 of those going for completions).


The special teams standout also played 83 total snaps on the kickoff, punt return, punt coverage and field goal block units.


PROS

  • Posses the length, strength and athleticism to carve out a role on the next level

  • Displays promising attributes in man coverage

  • Special Teams is where he shined with the needed speed & strength to get opportunities on the coverage unit

  • More than adequate as a run defender with a linebacker demeanor

  • Versatile chess piece that can be moved around in the defenisve backfield and potentially utilized as an undersized linebacker in sub-packages

CONS

  • Read & React playing style, needs to play more instinctual while taking more chances in coverage

  • Lack of forced career turnovers (1 int in '22)

  • Limited collegiate game experience is a concern, despite flashes

  • Will struggle with complex coverage assignments early on

  • Although lined up at safety/cornerback, he's better suited in a hybrid role on the next level


2024 Outlook

Owens faces the challenge of making the final roster with a crowded safety room. As mentioned, a hybrid role could be carved out for Owens, but ultimately he'll have to standout on special teams and hope Qunin elects to keep 5-6 safeties.


The Texas Tech hybrid's athleticism is undeniable and new DC Joe Whitt Jr. showed he can properly groom virtually unknown defensive backs while in Dallas.


Although the practice squad is his likely destination, Owens is still extremely raw lacking game experience, but is worth developing.


**GAMES WATCHED**

9/9/23 vs Oregon, 9/23 vs WVU, 9/30 vs Houston, 10/14 vs Kansas St., 11/2 vs TCU & 12/16 vs Cal


**CLICK ON CARD FOR MORE SCOUTING REPORTS**


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