The potential loss of Patrick Onwuasor could severely hurt the Baltimore Ravens defense, but Jamie Collins would be an ideal replacement if Onwuasor leaves.
The Baltimore Ravens paid the price for losing C.J. Mosley to Free Agency last offseason in 2019 with the middle of the team’s defense being its biggest weakness. Baltimore simply got outbid for Mosley’s services to the New York Jets. The team believed that Patrick Onwuasor would be able to step up and fill the void Mosley left, but it worked to no avail. Perhaps the team could find an upgrade this offseason in the form of Jamie Collins.
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Collins, who spent 2019 with the New England Patriots, is a remarkably similar player to that of Onwuasor. Both are untraditional linebackers who can play a variety of roles throughout the defense. Both can rush the quarterback effectively while having the ability to drop into coverage.
Patrick Onwuasor has found most of his success throughout his career rushing the passer from the middle of the defense, as evidenced by his 9.5 sacks from 2017-2019. In that same timeframe, Jamie Collins has accrued 12 sacks, including seven in 2019. Collins did most of his work last season from the edge admittedly, but he still has an impressive 24.5 career sacks since 2013. Don’t let the position lineup fool you, however, as Collins still racked up 81 tackles (58 solos) compared to Onwuasor’s 64 primarily at inside linebacker.
Clearly both are accustomed to getting after the quarterback, something the Ravens are in desperate need of. Jamie Collins is slightly more versatile in this department than Patrick Onwuasor is thanks to his time spent at edge rusher in 2019.
Jamie Collins would be an upgrade over “Peanut” Onwuasor in pass coverage for Baltimore. Collins is a much more fluid athlete who can match against tight ends better. Collins has also recorded 10 career interceptions, including three last year. Remember, Collins did this primarily off the edge.
The best of Jamie Collins’ game comes in the turnover department. The Ravens were no stranger to turnovers in 2019, recording 28 turnovers last year (13 interceptions, 15 forced fumbles). Still, there’s always room for improvement and Collins had three more forced fumbles to add to his three interceptions last year giving him six total in 2019 alone. Tally up his 16 career forced fumbles and you can see a clear picture that Collins knows how to get turnovers.
Overall, Jamie Collins is simply a better player than Patrick Onwuasor and likely won’t cost as much as the latter on the open market. Heck, even for the same price you’d be getting a better player in Collins than in Onwuasor. Collins would be a heckuva signing and upgrade for Baltimore.
For the Baltimore Ravens, the team needs to upgrade their inside linebacker spot even if Patrick Onwuasor is back for 2020. In Jamie Collins, the Ravens get exactly that. Collins isn’t likely to be a costly addition, either, making him that much more attractive to add. If Baltimore is looking for someone in the same mold as Onwuasor to replace him with, Collins is the perfect fit and an ideal target for the team in Free Agency.