Odafe Oweh's dominant start at OTAs should get Ravens fans excited

Oweh is starting to come into his own.
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens decided to pick up the fifth-year option on former first-round pass rusher Odafe Oweh despite the fact his production has never matched his draft status or raw talent. Oweh has just 13 sacks in three years, never piling up more than five in any individual season.

With Jadeveon Clowney gone and a converted inside linebacker in Kyle Van Noy likely to occupy a starting spot, the Ravens are banking on Oweh to dip into the deep reservoir of talent he developed at Penn State. Even the Ravens, who are more willing than most teams to give top picks a long developmental runway, are starting to run out of road with him.

Luckily for Ravens fans and coaches, Oweh has reportedly spent the first part of OTAs taking a sledgehammer to whichever offensive lineman faces him. As both a pass rusher and run stuffer, OWeh is cooking.

"Oweh flashed on a half-dozen or more plays. His pressure created a desperate throwaway during a red-zone drill from the 5-yard line," per the official team website. Oweh is also starting to flex his muscles in run defense, blowing up a running play meant for Justice Hill five yards in the backfield.

Odafe Oweh impresses with dominant showing at Baltimore Ravens OTAs

The current pass rush rotation consists of Oweh and Kyle Van Noy as the starters with some combination of injury-prone youngster David Ojabo, second-year depth addition Tavius Robinson, and rookie Adisa Isaac trying their best to replicate the impact Clowney had on the overall defense.

Oweh has never been questioned over his physical gifts, as a player who can run a 4.36 40-yard dash at over 250 pounds is in a class all his own. His issues stem from developing a pass rush plan when going against professional tackles. After three years, Baltimore seems to think he is turning a corner.

If Oweh ends up becoming a star in the same way Justin Madubuike finally stepped on the gas last season, the Ravens could once again have one of the best defensive lines in the league. If he fizzles out, Baltimore's decision to give him a fifth season by picking up that option could come back to bite them.

While it can often be difficult to gauge how good linemen are due to the lack of pads at OTAs and the general intensity of the event, it's still good to see a player entering a make-or-break season like Oweh overpowering the offensive line when given the chance.