Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Odafe Oweh is primed to have a big year for the Baltimore Ravens
After the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens caught some pushback from fans after they selected the former Penn State pass rusher with the pick they received during the Brown Jr. trade. The main point of contention was over the lack of production during Oweh’s final season with the Nittany Lions. Oweh famously finished the 2020 season with zero sacks to his name despite finishing with 6.5 tackles for a loss.
The Baltimore Ravens have been one to be shy when addressing needs on their team, and will sometimes opt to bet on the upside rather than a proven commodity. Recent selections of players such as Lamar Jackson, Orlando Brown Jr., and now Odafe Oweh are further proof that they aren’t afraid to take risks in the service of their team. Their latest foray into that sphere of thought with the aforementioned Oweh is their most intriguing project to date.
Luckily for fans, Oweh quickly squashed their production fears after getting his first NFL sack in his first game against the Las Vegas Raiders. His last sack before that game was almost two years ago during the Nittany Lions’ final match against Memphis on December 28th. After that initial sack, Oweh would finish the rest of the 2021 season with four more sacks for missing the final two games of the season due to injury.
So far during the Baltimore Ravens training camp, Oweh looks great after having shoulder surgery this off-season. According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN, Oweh is ready to make a significant influence on the team this year and finally take that next step. The young pass rusher has been giving his offensive tackle teammates a consistent fit thus far which is a promising sign as the 2022 NFL season draws closer.
Looking back at his 2021 season, Oweh showed plenty of growth already for a player with one NFL offseason under his belt. Per Pro Football Focus, Oweh finished his rookie campaign with 49 quarterback pressures, which ranked third among rookies. And in the grand scheme of things, evaluators and teams tend to value pressures more than sacks so this is already impressive for a player already considered to be raw.
Going forward into 2022, the expectations for Oweh are of course very high. As mentioned above, he seems poised to take that next step after impressing so far through the training camp processes. Many would look to a player often compared to Oweh in Danielle Hunter, who followed up a six-sack rookie year with 12.5 the following season. Obviously, making a one-to-one comparison between Oweh and Hunter is unwise, however, it’s not hard to see the parallels between the two based on their RAS scores from the combine and college production.
With that in mind, my personal prediction for Oweh in this upcoming season is that he does manage to reach at least eight sacks through 17 games this season. Additionally, he could also lead the Baltimore Ravens in pressures even with the likes of Justin Houston and Tyus Bowser still on the team. His pure athleticism and improving pass rush pallet will give him a distinct advantage down the stretch as well.
Many fans want Oweh to reach that magical double-digit sack number and it’s not hard to understand their sentiment. The Baltimore Ravens traded one of their best offensive players in order to select Oweh so the need for him to succeed is there. Outside of that aspect, Oweh’s story is an incredible journey of triumph as he worked his way into a full-time role with the Nittany Lions. Oweh himself says he feels “stronger” in his legs and expects to finally break out as the dominant player we know he can be.