- Was the nation’s top prospect out of Armwood High School in Florida via ESPN and Rivals; top recruit at his position via Scout and 24/7 Sports
- USA Today All-USA High School player and Florida Class 6A player of the year
- Lettered in basketball and track in high school
- Departed Auburn early as a junior (2017) and followed the JUCO route, enrolling at Hillsborough Community College, partly to be close to his ailing mother
- Didn’t play football until 9th grade
Data Courtesy of Maryland Football.
- Started all 12 games for Maryland in 2018, no significant injuries reported
- Started all 12 games for Maryland in 2018; was a rotational player at Auburn 2015-2017
- Career-best seven tackles at Iowa
- 1 INT, 2 tackles for loss (including 1 sack) against Rutgers
Data Courtesy of CFB at Sports-Reference.com.
- Texas (2018)
- Michigan (2018)
- Ohio State (2018)
Senior Bowl Measurables
- Height: 6′ 3-3/8”
- Weight: 297 lbs
- Hand: 9 5/8”
- Arm: 34”
- Wingspan: 81 3/8”
- Possesses a long and muscular build with good arm length for a defensive end or tackle. Has an end’s frame but with the weight of an interior lineman.
- Overall, a solid athlete. Plays with decent lateral agility and get-off when he needs it.
- Shows the necessary change of direction and movement skills to work on stunts and slants.
- Played almost exclusively as a 3-4 DE (4 or 4i-technique) in Maryland’s defensive front.
- Showcases good upper body strength and superior hand usage in the run game. Knows how to use his length to initiate contact and extend his arms to control blockers before they reach him.
- Plays with a wide, strong base and low pad level in one-on-one situations. Can 2-gap proficiently to hold his ground at the point of attack or use his arms to stack and shed reach or down blocks.
- Is able to anchor initially against double teams when engaged straight-up.
- Displays solid mental processing, vision in the backfield, and pursuit skills. Seldom loses sight of the ball and isn’t out of position on misdirection plays. Chases ball carriers with solid to good effort when behind the play.
- As a pass rusher, will knock OTs off balance with his long-arm move when he makes clean contact inside.
- Tends to be heavy-footed and lacks explosiveness at the defensive end position.
- Sometimes has tunnel vision in the backfield and struggles to see or show awareness of blockers in his immediate periphery.
- This also makes him susceptible to double teams when the second blocker attacks at an angle. In those cases, he gets turned too often and loses gap integrity.
- Loses his gap against the run when he doesn’t use his hands and attacks with his shoulder first.
- Although he showcases good hand usage in the ground game, his use of hands as a pass rusher is marginal to below average. His technique is rudimentary as he lacks timing, coordination, and counter moves. In the clip below, he misses with his hand swipe and is stymied by the LT.
- If he doesn’t win with his initial move, he’ll lose the rep as he’s unable to recover or adjust, and he struggles to clear his chest once contacted. In the below video, his weak chop move fails and the LT shuts him down with ease.
- He often rushes without a plan. This is partly due to scheme, as he’s tasked with outside containment of the pocket, and partly because of his current state of development. Most of his pass reps consist of a bull rush or attempt to speed around the corner.
- Doesn’t have the ability to string multiple moves together or build off of his long-arm. Watch below as he knocks the RG back and gains initial leverage with a long-arm stab but does nothing with it.
- Depending on one’s philosophy for competitive toughness, teams may or may not like his attempts to draw or instigate an unnecessary roughness penalty on the opponent. The following is one of three instances that occurred in the first half.
Byron Cowart is a raw prospect who currently projects as a rotational run-stopping 4- or 4i-technique as a 3-4 DE his rookie year. He has tools to develop into a useful and well-rounded contributor by his third season. The former Terrapin also makes for an interesting project in a 4-3 scheme at the 1- or 3-technique spots, as he’s a defensive tackle in a defensive end’s body. For him to reach his potential, he must turn himself into a master craftsman of hand and arm moves.
He lacks explosiveness and technique but has length and upper body strength. It’s those last two traits that give him hope as a pass rusher. If he learns better timing and coordination with his hands and develops an actual pass rush plan as well as the ability to counter and build off his initial moves, he could morph into a formidable defensive tackle.
Ultimately, he’s a toolsy, rotational run-stopper you can win with, but he currently offers nothing in the pass game. Based on film, he’s a day 3 pick, likely in the 5th to 7th rounds, and is also a practice squad candidate if he doesn’t make the initial 53-man roster. If he’s put on the right team or scheme, if they’re patient, and if he works hard and focuses on becoming a technician, his maturation process could bear fruit. The JUCO transfer could turn into a late-round success story. However, that’s a lot of ifs.
You can follow Allan on Twitter at @AllanUy22