PFF: Odafe Oweh was the Ravens’ worst rookie in the preseason

Ravens, Odafe Oweh Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Odafe Oweh Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens have high expectations for Odafe Oweh, both when it comes to his impact as a rookie and in the long-term future.

While the team knew what they signed up for when they drafted a player as raw as Oweh, they ultimately believe that his raw athleticism and talent will shine through allowing him to develop into an all-around excellent player.

However, his career might have gotten off to a rather inauspicious start.

According to Pro Football Focus, Oweh was the Ravens’ lowest-graded rookie of the preseason as he finished with a lowly PFF grade of 34.9

Michael Renner of PFF had the following to say about Oweh’s slow start.

"“Oweh was always going to be a project — if you watched his tape at Penn State, this shouldn’t be too surprising. Unfortunately, the confidence simply isn’t there, and he’s not playing up to his tested athleticism. You can tell he is thinking more than he is playing football so far.”"

The Ravens want to see more from Odafe Oweh in his rookie season

Much of what Renner says there is true. Again, it should be noted that we’re working with a pretty small sample size so any PFF grades should be taken with a grain of salt.

But Oweh failed to make much of an impact as a pass rusher this preseason. In three games, he finished with just two assisted tackles.

In fact, he made more headlines for his use as a gunner on special teams than for anything he did on defense. And that’s perfectly OK.

Oweh was one of the most naturally gifted players in the entire 2021 NFL Draft class. But the Ravens knew that they were drafting a project when they added the former Penn State standout, despite them publicly insisting otherwise.

The Ravens won’t be asking Oweh to take on a major role in his first season. That’s why the addition of Justin Houston this offseason was so important.

Houston can join veterans like Pernell McPhee and Tyus Bowser to help take the pressure off Oweh. Meanwhile, the 22-year-old can continue to harness his athleticism and grow as both a pass rusher and run defender.

It’s not that he didn’t flash this summer either. Oweh looked the part of a first-round pick in training camp showing off his incredible length and agility as well as his bend around the edge.

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Odafe Oweh has a sky-high ceiling. But if his preseason play is evidence of anything, it will likely take some time for him to scratch the surface of his true potential.