Tyus Bowser stepping into pivotal season for Ravens
By Darin McCann
Tyus Bowser is heading into a big year one way or another:
Before there was Miles Boykin, there was Tyus Bowser.
Like the much-hyped rookie receiver from Notre Dame, Bowser came to the Ravens in 2017 as a second-day pick with an amazing array of physical tools at his disposal. And, like Boykin has this summer, Bowser wowed teammates, fans and announcers with his play during practices — with some flashes sprinkled in during the preseason games to raise expectations sky-high.
Bowser was being lauded for his skills at the edge, not only in terms of having the gifts to develop into a talented pass-rusher, but also for his ability in coverage. It appeared that Bowser was created in a lab at the University of Houston to be the prototypical modern-day defender in a pass-heavy National Football League.
His first year, snaps were pretty tough to come by with players like Terrell Suggs, Matt Judon, Za’Darius Smith and fellow-classmate Tim Williams vying for action, but Bowser made an impression, stacking up three sacks, an interception and three passes defended. He won Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Cleveland Browns in week 2, after picking up a sack and an interception.
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But that has remained his high-water mark, and it appeared Bowser regressed a bit last year, picking up just half a sack in 15 games. Suggs, Smith and Judon dominated the snaps last season for the Ravens top-ranked defense, and Bowser and Williams had a difficult time making plays, or even getting on the field much.
This needs to be a big season for Bowser. The third year is big for any NFL player, particularly when he is sitting on a four-year deal. If he doesn’t fight his way on to the field this season for significant snaps, and the Ravens hierarchy does not see a clear path for a compensatory pick in the future if Bowser were to leave after his fourth year, well, that fourth year is no guarantee. The Ravens could just move on and give those snaps to Williams or rookie Jaylon Ferguson or whoever they add to the roster next season.
There is a place for Tyus Bowser on this Ravens defense. In fact, there is a need for Tyus Bowser to play like the Tyus Bowser we have all waited for on this defense. With Suggs and Smith gone, the opportunity is there for him to stake his claim.
It’s up to him to stake it. Today. Tomorrow is not promised.