Here’s a look at what Baltimore Sun staff members think of the Ravens’ selection of Penn State edge rusher Odafe Oweh with the 31st pick in Thursday night’s opening round of the NFL draft:
C.J. Doon, editor
While it was a little surprising to see the Ravens eschew adding help on the offensive line after trading away Orlando Brown Jr., it’s hard to argue with the value of taking Oweh at No. 31. While still raw — he only started playing football in his junior year of high school — the Penn State product is an athletic marvel, with a sub-4.4 second 40-yard dash, a sub-7.0-second three-cone drill and an 11-foot-2 broad jump. That didn’t translate to any sacks in 2020, but he still played well enough to be voted first-team All-Big Ten by the league’s coaches. It will be fascinating to see how he develops and how he’s used in coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale’s scheme.
Daniel Oyefusi, staff writer
There was much speculation that the Ravens would trade out of the No. 31 spot to accumulate more Day Two picks. However, they used their second first-round selection to double down on a position of need with Penn State edge rusher Odafe Oweh. It’ll be viewed as a gutsy pick, given Oweh didn’t register a single sack last season. But Oweh has size and athleticism that you can’t teach. The hope is that the Ravens will be able to develop Oweh into the long lineage of versatile pass rushers to come through Baltimore.
Mike Preston, columnist
Odafe Oweh was the No. 31 overall pick by the Ravens, but is more of a project than a good pass rusher at this point. He has size and freakish athletic abilities, but doesn’t have the assortment of moves and hand strength to be consistently dominant. Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale has a lot of work to do with Oweh, but the Penn State edge rusher could become very good if he is a quick learner.
Jonas Shaffer, staff writer
It’s easy to get distracted by Oweh’s lack of sack production. The Ravens aren’t drafting the Penn State standout to be a designated pass rusher. First-round edge rushers should be every-down contributors, and Oweh is a stout run defender with the athletic tools to acquit himself well in coverage. The Ravens value both skills highly. He might never become a Pro Bowl pass rusher, but Don “Wink” Martindale’s defense will give him a lot of pressure opportunities, and why not take a chance on a late-to-football prospect with comic book measurables?
Childs Walker, staff writer
The Ravens again passed on a chance to take their future right tackle at No. 31, instead opting for the top defensive player on their board in Odafe Oweh. You can’t argue with Oweh’s potential. How many players his size have ever run a sub-4.4 40-yard dash? We’ve all heard that he didn’t produce a single sack in 2020, but he projects as the kind of versatile outside linebacker the Ravens love, with the ability to set the edge or drop into coverage. He’ll play right into defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale’s creativity. The Ravens filled two clear needs Thursday night, so you can’t argue too much with what they pulled off.