Charles Davis: Ravens Are ‘Perfect Spot’ For Penn State EDGE Jayson Oweh

Despite a lack of production this past season, Penn State edge rusher Jayson Oweh would be a perfect fit for the Ravens late in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft because Baltimore’s coaching staff would be able to tap into Oweh’s enormous potential, according to NFL Network draft analyst Charles Davis.

Davis mocked Oweh to the Ravens with the No. 27 pick in his recent mock draft while noting that the Ravens lost edge rushers Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue to free agency. Davis’ mock draft was released before the Ravens added the No. 31 overall pick as part of the return for tackle Orlando Brown Jr.

During his March 25 pro day at Penn State, Oweh measured in at 6-foot-5 and 257 pounds and ran a 4.36 40-yard dash, looking every bit of an explosive pass rusher at the next level. However, the concern with the 22-year-old comes from his sack numbers at Penn State. He had seven sacks in 20 career games from 2018-2020 and none in seven games this past season.

To be fair, he still totaled 6.5 tackles for loss in 2020 and was effective against the run. Davis believes Oweh would be a good fit in Baltimore because of the scheme defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale runs and the coaching staff in place. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh hired Anthony Weaver this offseason to be the team’s defensive line coach.

“The reason I thought that Baltimore would be a perfect spot for him is how he would be coached and the scheme that they play in — see ball, see man with ball, go get man with ball,” Davis said on Glenn Clark Radio April 23. “I’m not saying that to be simplistic. It’s just that Wink is going to come up with things that are going to show you [at your best], isolate you and give you opportunities.

“I just think that John Harbaugh and his staff pride themselves in being teachers — not just guys who roll guys out and call defenses, but teach them, coach them and make them better. What a guy to start with. If I’m one of those coaches, I’m like, ‘Coach, I can coach him, OK? Give me a shot.'”

Davis noted that Oweh might have played off the ball more than he should have and that even though he had no sacks in 2020, he was still able to be disruptive. If the Ravens preferred an edge rusher with a better track record of production at No. 27, one option could be Georgia’s Azeez Ojulari. He piled up 15 sacks from 2018-2020 and posted 9.5 this past season.

When the Ravens have drafted edge rushers in recent years, they’ve all had track records of production:

  • Jaylon Ferguson, drafted in the third round of the 2019 draft, set the FBS record for sacks with 45 in four years at Louisiana Tech;
  • Tyus Bowser, drafted in the second round of the 2017 draft, had 22.5 sacks in four years at Houston;
  • Kamalei Correa, drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft, had 20 sacks in three years at Boise State;
  • Bronson Kaufusi, drafted in the third round of the 2016 draft, had 25.5 sacks in four years at BYU;
  • and Matthew Judon, drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, had 29.5 sacks in three years at Grand Valley State.

The 6-foot-2, 249-pound Ojulari, who ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at his March 17 pro day, is not the physical specimen that Oweh is, but produced more in what is generally considered to be the best conference in college football. Davis mocked Ojulari to the Cleveland Browns at No. 26.

“I think Ojulari would be a prime consideration at [No. 27] because at the end of the day, when we’re all done fighting with each other, production’s going to be a tiebreaker — and production in the SEC, that helps,” Davis said. “People get tired of hearing that. Non-SEC people, they get sick of it. … The SEC’s the SEC for a reason, OK?”

After the Brown trade, the Ravens have nine picks in the upcoming draft. Their top needs have long been seen as edge rusher, wide receiver and offensive line, the latter of which is now a more pressing need. Other possible needs are a pass-catching tight end and a playmaking safety.

With wide receiver considered a deep position in this year’s draft, would it make sense to attack edge rush at No. 27 or 31? Davis thinks so, and he mentioned Illinois wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe as a possible fit for the Ravens in the middle rounds.

“The way Baltimore plays offense — and unless it appreciably changes with Lamar [Jackson] — a No. 1 outside threat is big, but remember, that guy’s not going to catch the same number of balls as other people are,” Davis said. “… If Baltimore’s going to throw it 40 times a game, that’s a whole different ballgame. But if they’re throwing it 40 times a game, they’re usually not real happy with that. So that’s why I would say come back and get the receiver later.”

For more from Davis, listen to the full interview here:

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Penn State Athletics

Luke Jackson

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