Mel Owens
Date of birth: (1958-12-07) December 7, 1958 (age 61)
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Career information
Position(s): Linebacker
College: Michigan
NFL Draft: 1981 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
 As player:
1981-1989 Los Angeles Rams
Career highlights and awards

All-Big 10 (1980)
Honorable mention All-America (1980)
Honorable mention All-Pro (1986)

Playing stats at

Mel Owens (born December 7, 1958) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League. Owens was selected in the first round by the Los Angeles Rams out of the University of Michigan in the 1981 NFL Draft. Owens played his entire professional career for the Rams and finished his ten seasons with 26.5 quarterback sacks.[1]

University of Michigan Edit

In his senior season of 1980 Owens had 100 tackles (8 for a loss) intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. He was an honorable mention All-America selection in 1980 by AP and NEA. He was also an All-Big 10 choice by the AP. As a junior he had 73 tackles (2 for a loss) and one interception. He was injured in 1978 versus Notre Dame, but had gotten off to a good start with 9 tackles and 1 interception. He ended his career with 228 tackles (12 for a loss) and 3 interceptions. He played in three Rose Bowls and one Gator Bowl while at Michigan. He graduated with a degree in political science.[2]

Los Angeles Rams Edit

The Rams selected Owens with the ninth overall pick in the 1981 NFL Draft. His reported time in the 40-yard dash was 4.65 and his bench press was 390 pounds.[3]

He played mostly on special teams in 1981 and 1982. He made his first start against the Los Angeles Raiders in the second-to-last game of the 1982 NFL season in which he recorded 10 tackles before leaving the game with a knee injury. The injury caused him to miss the last two weeks of the season. Owens became a full-time starter in 1983, when the Rams switched to a 3-4 defense. That season he was fifth on the Rams defense with 83 tackles. He also had four sacks. In 1984 he was third in tackles with 79 and 3.5 sacks and an interception along with three fumbles recovered and a forced fumble. The following season, 1985, he was sixth in tackles with 68 (5 for a loss) and also contributed 9 sacks, third on the team. In 1986 Owens was an honorable mention All-pro by the Associated Press as the Rams defense ranked in the NFL's top 5 for the second consecutive season. In Week 3 of 1986 Owens was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week by the NFL.

Owens started every non-strike game from 1983 through 1987. In 1988 he suffered an ankle injury that limited him to 7 games (4 starts). In 1989 he was switched to inside linebacker, after spending his entire NFL career at strong outside linebacker. He played all 16 games with 10 starts. Owens totaled 453 tackles with 26.5 sacks in his Ram career with 4 interceptions.[2]

Personal Edit

Owens was involved in several business ventures in Los Angeles, including a line of clothing called "Evolution Wear". He also operated a nationwide restaurant reservation hotline in the 1980s called 1-800-LETS-EAT. He traveled to Egypt in the 1984 off-season. In 1987 he ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, in the 1987 off-season and also competed in the 1987 Los Angeles Marathon.[2]

Post-NFL Edit

Following his time as an NFL player, Owens returned to school and attended University of California Hastings College of Law receiving his Juris Doctor degree. Owens now practices law in Southern California[4] and is a partner with the lawfirm, Namanny, Byrne & Owens, specializing in assisting veteran athletes pursue worker's compensation and disability claims in state court. Owens frequently collaborates on special projects with attorney Don West, Jr.


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