Looking for someone to break out of their cocoon and into the limelight? Look no further than edge rusher Tyus Bowser entering a contract season.
It would appear the Ravens don’t only have talent up and down this roster heading into the 2020 season — it also seems to be loaded with depth in key areas.
Look at cornerback. Gauge the running backs room of the most-prolific running attack in modern NFL history. Robert Griffin III seems like an upper-level backup to the reigning MVP at quarterback, and the defensive line looks to be able to come at people this season in waves of purple and black terror crashing down on the shores of opposing offenses.
But there are still some nagging questions, right? In the salary cap era, it is nearly impossible to be stacked at every position group in the NFL, as it is imperative that teams rely on young players still on rookie contracts — as well as some aging veterans on minimum deals — to fill key spots and help offset necessary spending on game-changers on the roster.
There are some worries with the Ravens’ interior offensive line, and they are throwing a bunch of rookie-contract players and a reasonably-priced DJ Fluker into the competition. The team appears to be banking on rookie deals at receiver to play up to par, and the edge-rushers are a mix of a proven guy on a franchise tag (Matthew Judon), a seasoned veteran on a reasonable deal (Pernell McPhee) and a few young guys, including second-year man Jaylon Ferguson.
But you know who’s going to stand out this season for the Ravens? Tyus Bowser.
The fourth-year former second-round-pick out of Houston has flashed some unique athleticism over his first three years but has sprinkled in what appears to be some indecision during the play and a general inability to earn much playing time. That changed a little last year, as Tyus Bowser got on the field enough to generate five sacks (second to Judon’s 9.5) and did a nice job dropping into coverage, allowing safety Chuck Clark to take on different roles as the season progressed.
“Besides the competition at edge rusher, the Ravens pass rush got a big boost this offseason in the forms of Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe. The two had 6.5 and seven sacks respectively and will line up on the defensive line. Their presence will make life easier for the edge rushers, which could result in a surprisingly productive season for Tyus Bowser.” —Richard Bradshaw
I’m not sure that Tyus Bowser will ever develop into that 10-sack-a-year guy that the Ravens Kingdom wants to see at edge, but a breakout season from him could lead to a new contract with the team, and another multi-dimensional piece for this defense to utilize for years to come. His talent would allow him to excel both going forward and back, which is a valuable piece in today’s NFL.