Ravens picking up Odafe Oweh's fifth-year option is bad news for 1 player

The Ravens could be giving up on a former top pick
Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers
Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens are always willing to give developmental young players multiple years to prove themselves, and they are adhering to that philosophy with former first-round pass rusher Odafe Oweh by picking up a $13 million fifth-year option for the 2025 season.

Oweh is projected to be a starter on the defensive line once again, teaming with veteran hybrid defender Kyle Van Noy and 2024 third-round choice Adisa Isaac as they try to make up for the loss of Jadeveon Clowney. The rest of the pass rush rotation is a serious question mark.

One player who will be under the microscope more than they have at any point in their professional career is fellow young pass rusher David Ojabo. Once thought of as a Top 20 pick, his injury sustained during his Pro Day workout and continued problems staying healthy made it difficult for him to ever get any sense of momentum in the pros.

The combination of Baltimore committing to Oweh and drafting another speedy pass-rusher like Isaac in the third round could start the clock on the end of Ojabo's tenure in Baltimore. Barring a miraculous 2024 season, it seems like Baltimore is no longer expecting Ojabo to grow into a starter.

Ravens committing to Odafe Oweh could be bad news for David Ojabo

Thanks to his injury concerns, Ojabo has played just five of a possible 34 games in his professional career. With just seven tackles and two sacks to his name, it's fair to say Baltimore may have expected more from a player who was unblockable at times during his Michigan tenure.

When healthy, Ojabo has shown a solid deal of explosion off the line and the ability to transfer his speed into power. The issue stems from the fact that he has become so unreliable (through no fault of his own) that Baltimore needs to keep adding to the pass rush. These new additions and refusal to dump Oweh could spell doom for Ojabo.

Ojabo's best case scenario for the 2024 season and beyond in Baltimore involves making himself the unquestioned No. 3 pass rusher behind Oweh and Van Noy, waiting for one of them to slip up, and eventually star in a starting role. That scenario already has tons of variables, not to mention the looming threat of Ojabo's health that could rip that plan apart.

The Ravens can't keep playing the potential game with Ojabo every year, especially when they have to replace so many parts of their defense to maximize their championship window. Baltimore has a plan for right now and the future, and Ojabo might not be in it.