by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of 11 Warriors.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Ohio State, Edge Rusher, Jack Sawyer
Name- Jack Sawyer
Pos- Edge Rusher
Team- Ohio State
HT/WT- 6’4” 265 lbs.
Home – Pickerington, OH
Sawyer attended Pickerington North High School in Ohio and was a 5-star rated prospect, the #4 rated player in the nation and Ohio State’s highest rated recruit in their 2021 class. As a junior, he was the OCC-Ohio Division Defensive Player of the Year after collecting 37 tackles and 13.5 sacks.
Sawyer saw some action in his freshman season, playing in 6 games and tallying 11 tackles and 3 sacks in his limited action.
In 2022, he played in 13 games and was named Honorable mention all-Big Ten Conference by the coaches after collecting 24 tackles and 4.5 sacks, including 6.5 tackles for a loss.
Sawyer has started slowly in 2023 and in his first 5 games, he has 14 tackles and has yet to record a sack.
Sawyer has excellent upper body strength and the short yardage burst and power to overtake his opponent. He uses his hands effectively when taking on blockers and disengages them quickly. He specializes in sealing the outside, forcing running backs to turn up the middle. He is a player who won't impress on the stat sheet or box score, but does all the thankless things that makes a defense tick. Ohio State has at times played him as a hybrid type linebacker and he has shown the ability to line up behind the defensive line and focus on the ball. He explodes off the snap and has a good cut move to get inside blockers on passing downs when he isn’t trying to seal the corner.
He plays with a tightness that holds him back at times in one-on-one matchups with bigger opponents, and in the NFL he will need to work on his mechanics. He uses power first and will need to improve his footwork and techniques to be a success at the next level. He is not an edge who will chase a back down but instead redirects them into the teeth of the defense. He is only a junior but most likely will be a high draft pick based on his ceiling.
Sawyer’s play is very reminiscent of former Purdue and current Kansas City Chief edge rusher, George Karlaftis. Sawyer has all the tools to be a dominant edge rusher, and Karlaftis did the same in his 2021 season before skyrocketing up draft boards, being selected 30th overall. If Sawyer opts to come out in this year’s draft, he may not likely be a first rounder but could be a nice second day or early 3rd day selection.
Upper body strength
Seals the edge
Versatility in set up
Plays too tight
Chase and finish
Jack Sawyer has as much talent as any other edge rusher in this draft but has not completely put it all together yet for the Buckeyes. Sawyer will need to improve his pass rushing skills if he wants NFL teams to select him early but because of his upside will go higher than his production suggests.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 3rd round