Ravens: Odafe Oweh starting to impose his will as a pass rusher

Ravens, Odafe Oweh Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Odafe Oweh Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

If anyone were to tell you that the Baltimore Ravens‘ leading pass rusher in 2021 would be a rookie named Odafe Oweh before the season began, you would’ve been inclined to call them a lunatic.

But, as it stands now, after 12 weeks of NFL action, the player who amassed zero sacks in his final season at Penn State currently leads the Ravens with 40 quarterback pressures per Pro Football Focus.

Moreover, versus the Cleveland Browns on Sunday Night Football, he put together his most dominant performance of the season by forcing six pressures, one sack, and one forced fumble alike (a fumble that he recovered himself).

It just goes to show that the Baltimore front office still has a leg up on their competition when it comes to drafting.

Odafe Oweh’s athletic ability and consistency are what mattered to the Ravens’ defense

After the Ravens and former outside linebacker Matt Judon went their separate ways this past offseason, there was a considerable void in the pass-rushing department. For Baltimore, there has not been an elite edge rusher since Terrell Suggs left town.

While the Ravens defense is aggressive and full of playmakers like Tyus Bowser, the team needed more depth and talent on the edge of the defense. As a result, general manager Eric Decosta landed Oweh as a steal with their 31st overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Baltimore’s scouting department hit the nail on the head, and then some, as the former Penn State standout, is only scratching the surface of his potential as a football player in just his rookie season.

Odafe Oweh has a golden opportunity to become an extraordinary player for the Ravens

Given the number of injuries on the Ravens’ defense, what Odafe Oweh is achieving this season is even more impressive.

If it weren’t for the Dallas Cowboys’ Micah Parsons, Oweh would be running away with the NFL’s  Defensive Rookie of the Year award with no questions asked. However, there is a substantial amount of time to determine the winner of this award still.

Should he continue his blazing stretch of five more QB pressures as he has the past three weeks, he bears the ability to become more than just a rookie.

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He can enter the discussion for the next great Baltimore defender, should he not already be in those few discussions.