Odafe Oweh becomes ultimate Ravens X-factor in 2024 after Jadeveon Clowney leaves

Oweh could make or break this defense.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens have professed a ton of confidence in two of their young pass rushers in David Ojabo and former first-round pick Odafe Oweh. That vote of confidence comes at a pivotal time, as those two won't have the security blanket known as Jadeveon Clowney in the 2024 season.

Despite Baltimore's attempt to bring him back in free agency, Clowney signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. Unless Baltimore makes a move for a solid veteran option in the next few weeks, they could enter the 2024 NFL Draft with two players on rookie contracts in starting defensive line roles.

While Baltimore is likely well aware of the fact they need to work around Ojabo and his injury concerns, the way they have operated this offseason (read: not re-signing anyone and letting Clowney walk) shows a great deal of trust in Oweh and what he can become as a pass rusher.

The Ravens could end up landing a future star who solidifies their pass rush and makes concerns about Clowney vanish into thin air if Oweh makes good on his limitless potential, but he could end up sinking the pass rush ship this season if he once again remains in the average tier he has been stuck in during his last two campaigns.

Odafe Oweh is the ultimate Baltimore Ravens X-factor in 2024

Oweh has been living on potential for most of his professional career. After not recording a sack in his final year at Penn State, Baltimore still took him No. 31 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft due to his athletic testing times that were so impressive they almost look fake. A 4.37 40-yard dash at over 250 pounds is silly.

In three years with the Ravens, Oweh has tallied just 13 sacks and never amassed more than five in any one season. While there is some potential there, the consistency just hasn't shown up. His snaps have actually decreased, going from 65% as a rookie to just 50% during their standout 2023 season.

If he hits his stride without Clowney, it's not unreasonable to assume that he could end up breaking the 10-sack barrier. If Ojabo stays healthy and takes the pressure off him on the other side, even better.

However, Oweh flopping would be a code-red situation for the Ravens. Not only would they see two draft picks they spent a ton of time working on fizzle out when pressed into bigger roles, but a team with championship aspirations will enter the playoff push with a lackluster pass rush.