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Roundtable Reactions: Ravens sign pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney

The Beatdown gang share their reactions to the Ravens’ signing of pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, reports announced the Baltimore Ravens are signing veteran outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year deal. Below are the reactions from Beatdown contributors.

To win on defense in the NFL a team must be capable of rushing four defenders and generating pressure. While the Ravens have solved ways to simulate pressure with different looks and they have had positive reps from their young pass rushers Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo, it’s been unclear if they’ll be able to get home consistently when rushing four. Now, they’ll be more capable with the addition of Clowney.

The Ravens pass rush and cornerback room are, on paper, their greatest weaknesses. Now, they’ve added to both, and Clowney’s addition bolsters both the rush room and is beneficial to the secondary if he can get after the quarterbacks.

Along with the upgraded talent, the Ravens now have a player who can take snaps. Before, it was curious how they’d run both Oweh and Ojabo to such lofty snap count totals. But, another body, and a good one at that, will be beneficial. — Kyle Barber

A day after bringing in some much-needed help at cornerback in the form of Ronald Darby, the Ravens address another area of need by signing outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney. With Bowser still sidelined with injury, Baltimore lacks veteran experience at the position, so adding a player like Clowney makes sense. The team will still rely on Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo heavily this year, but Clowney should factor heavily into the rotation, especially as an early-down run defender, which is possibly his greatest strength. Clowney also presents the ability to kick inside on passing downs if needed.

Adding to the pass rush should help alleviate some of the shortcomings at cornerback until Marlon Humphrey can return. Less blitzing in order to get pressure will go a long way towards protecting the backend of the defense. — Dustin Cox

Clowney joining the Ravens has felt like a foregone conclusion for a few years. Now, it finally comes to fruition at a very opportune time for the team.

Clowney’s ability to set the edge as a pass-rusher and run defender is much needed. He will complement the Ravens’ current depth chart well and add valuable experience. This will alleviate some of the pressure on young edge rushers like Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo, as well as veteran Tyus Bowser in his return from injury. The addition of Clowney is even more significant given the growing uncertainty in the team’s defensive backfield, as well. — Frank Platko

I love this signing for the Ravens because Clowney not only provides them with another seasoned veteran presence to their young edge depth chart but he has the versatile skill set to line up and impact the game from a multiple positions. He can play both the RUSH and SAM spot if needed as well as kick inside on sub packages and rush from the five-technique.

The three-time Pro Bowler has always been a better and more consistent run defender than pass rusher so he’ll be able to play on early downs and let David Ojabo to come in obvious passing downs where he can be the most impactful. With a banged up secondary at the moment, improving the pass rush will go a long toward alleviating some of the pressure on the outside corners to have to cover as long. Clowney is only a year removed from recording 9 sacks and 19 pressures in 2021 and I believe that both Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald new outside Linebackers coach Chuck Smith can set him up for success and unlock some of his untapped potential as a pass rusher. Another great move by Eric DeCosta to improve an already loaded roster. — Joshua Reed

This is the move that needed to happen to save the defense after Marlon Humphrey’s exodus. Fortifying the front seven with a player to help in four-man blitzes and giving the young guys like Oweh and Ojabo a guy to lean on will help the secondary play well enough to keep the defense alive. When Humphrey returns they will be the elite of the elite in the NFL.

Clowney gets a bad rap because he’s had up-and-down years and has the first overall pick cloud hanging over him that he never lived up to but he’s a fantastic athlete, very good in run defense and can keep the Ravens four-man rushes disruptive. This will allow Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald to put more guys in coverage to help the cornerback room until Humphrey gets back. He’ll also be able to allow Tyus Bowser to recover from his injury at an easy pace.

This is the best move General Manager Eric DeCosta could have made after Humphrey’s injury. Combine that with Darby and the defense could sail smoothly until everybody is healthy. DeCosta has had his eye on Clowney and been linked to him for a couple years now. Now he gets his man. — Zach Canter

In typical Ravens fashion, the team adds an impact player late in free agency. While he’s not the most refined pass rusher, Clowney is still very disruptive against the run and will give Baltimore the ability to deploy David Ojabo primarily in passing situations while also letting Tyus Bowser work his way back from injury. While he hasn’t quite lived up to the hype of a first overall pick, he’s still an extremely athletic and versatile addition to the front seven. This move has the potential to make the Ravens defense a whole lot better once Marlon Humphrey returns. The real question becomes whether Clowney, who has struggled to stay on the field, can stay healthy. Overall, a great signing from Eric DeCosta. — Stephen Bopst