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Ravens Select Pass Rusher Adisa Isaac in Third Round


Being drafted by the Ravens gives Adisa Isaac a chance to reconnect with Odafe Oweh, and to learn under Outside Linebackers Coach Chuck Smith.

Isaac was smiling after the Ravens selected him in the third round with the No. 93 pick, adding another talented pass rusher to their outside linebacker group. Isaac and Oweh are close friends and were teammates at Penn State, where Isaac had a breakout season in 2023 with 7.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss.

"He (Oweh) helped recruit me to Penn State and we ended up playing together a couple of years before he left to go to the Ravens," Isaac said. "We were tight. He was a great teammate, a great big brother to me coming to Penn State. I just thank him for helping me when I first got there. Now, of course it comes full circle. It's a very unique situation."

Isaac will compete for playing time in an outside linebacker rotation that includes Oweh, David Ojabo, Tavius Robinson and veteran Kyle Van Noy, all being coached by Smith, who Isaac can't wait to be coached by.

"I've heard a lot about him throughout my college career," Isaac said. "I always heard the name, Chuck Smith, Chuck Smith, never able to put a face to it. Now I'm able to work with him. It's amazing, I'm just excited."

Isaac's potential to help Baltimore's defense as he gains NFL experience is obvious. His 14.5 career sacks at Penn State were three more than teammate Chop Robinson, who went to the Miami Dolphins in the first round.

At 6-foot-4, 247 pounds, Isaac was a disruptive defender at Penn State, joining Robinson as a prolific one-two punch that led the Nittany Lions' defense. General Manager Eric DeCosta said Isaac had been on Baltimore's radar throughout the draft process.

"What I like about him is he's got great length, which is a critical factor," DeCosta said. "He's got heavy hands. He's got some different moves, he's got speed and quickness. And I think he's tenacious.

"I watched a lot of offensive linemen in the Big Ten, we have a need at that position. Adisa's a guy who wreaked havoc in the Big Ten this year."

The Ravens led the league in sacks last season, but lost Jadeveon Clowney (9.5 sacks) to the Carolina Panthers in free agency. While the Ravens don't want to put too much on Isaac's plate as a rookie, he'll be surrounded by talented players in a system that can accentuate his strengths. Isaac got a strong pre-draft endorsement from Smith, which carried plenty of weight with DeCosta.

"I really pay attention to Chuck; when he talks, I listen because he is a great pass-rush specialist, and he's looking for specific traits, and he gets excited by certain guys, and I like that," DeCosta said. "I love his enthusiasm.

Isaac has an interesting backstory as someone who didn't start playing football until high school, growing up in Brooklyn with three siblings who are non-verbal. They have been inspiration to Isaac as a constant reminder for him to maximize the ability that he has been blessed with.

"We laugh, we joke, we playfight – everything," Isaac said. "I love them to death. I thank them for the motivation. I thank them for everything."

Isaac suffered a torn Achilles in 2021, but it was a setback that became a turning point in his career. He returned a better player in 2022 and believes he's just scratching the surface of what he can be as a player.

"After I got hurt, it opened my mind a lot," Isaac said. "The adversity taught me. Whatever adversity I run into moving forward, it won't be much of a hiccup."

Asked who he'd most like to sack once he joined the Ravens, Isaac smiled.

"I need that (Patrick) Mahomes sack," Isaac said. "I need that Josh Allen sack. I want to sack him because I like his frame. He's a bigger body. He's kind of athletic. It would be more of a challenge."

Isaac knew he and Oweh would always be friends, but now they will be teammates again, competing for sacks and pushing each other to become better players. It's the kind of draft day outcome that Isaac hoped for.

"Before Chop came, me and Dafe were the sack brothers," Isaac said. "I'm excited to kind of reunite that, get some friendly competition again."

Check out the best photos of Ravens third round pick OLB Adisa Isaac.

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