While their potential depth at outside linebacker heading into 2022 is looking light, the future of Baltimore Ravens edge defender Odafe Oweh looks bright after a standout rookie season. A day after three of his teammates were named to Pro Football Writers of America 2021 All NFL and AFC Teams, he was named to their 2021 All Rookie Team.
The Ravens and General Manager Eric DeCosta bet on potential over production when they selected Oweh at No. 31 overall out of Penn State. He immediately paid off their low-risk-high reward gamble on a pass rusher that had zero sacks in his last year in college by racking up three in his first five career games.
Oweh finished second on the team in sacks with five despite missing the final two games and was constant source of pressure off the edge whenever he rushed the passer. His run defense was just as, if not even more, impressive with the way consistently set the edge and limited gains by displaying his elite speed and tenacious backside pursuit.
Oweh made most of his biggest and most impactful plays in primetime under a national spotlight. He recorded his first sack on Monday Night Football in Week 1, forced a key late fumble on Sunday Night Football a week later, notched a crucial strip sack on Monday Night Football in Week 5 and blew up a trick play with a strip sack on Sunday Night Football in Week 12.
Other Ravens first year players that had solid to strong rookie campaigns but didn't join Oweh in getting recognized include his fellow first rounder in wide receiver Rashod Bateman, third round offensive guard Ben Cleveland and third round safety Brandon Stephens.
Bateman showed a lot of promise when given the opportunity and could blossom as a 'true No. 1' in year two, Stephens was forced to step up and make 11 starts due to injury and Cleveland looked solid finishing the season as the starting left guard for the final four games.