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10 Questions: Are the Young Pass Rushers Ready?

OLB David Ojabo
OLB David Ojabo

With Justin Houston and Calais Campbell no longer on the Ravens' roster, Baltimore is looking for additional sources for pass rush in 2023.

Baltimore could still reunite with Houston, who led the team with 9.5 sacks last year, but that may be determined by how they feel about the progress of their young outside linebackers.

Here's how things stand now as we approach training camp:

David Ojabo is healthy and looking good.

The Ravens knew when they drafted David Ojabo in the second round last year that is was a move for the future. He was a first-round talent who was going to miss most of his rookie year as he rehabbed his torn Achilles. Well, the future is now and Ojabo looks ready.

The sophomore pass rusher was one of the biggest standouts in OTAs and minicamp. He is totally healthy, playing with high energy, and looking explosive. After recording a sack/strip in his only game with significant action last year, Ojabo could be a breakout player in 2023 and the leader of the Ravens' sack attack.

Odafe Oweh and Tyus Bowser aim for bounce back years.

Oweh didn't have the sophomore campaign he imagined, and many pundits predicted when he was tearing up training camp last year. After logging five sacks as a rookie, Oweh dipped to three last season. He's motivated to be more consistent and has been training with Ojabo this offseason as the two look to reprise their high school glory days terrorizing quarterbacks. Oweh also had a good offseason so far.

Bowser also had a dip in production last season, though that was majorly impacted by a delayed start as he came back from a torn Achilles. He'll look to get back to the form he showed in 2020 and 2021 when he was a dynamic dual threat in pass coverage and pass rush.

Chuck Smith will elevate the group.

Another reason to bet on the young players' development is the arrival of new Outside Linebackers Coach Chuck Smith, who previously ran a business exclusively training pass rushers. Smith is a former NFL defensive end and his players are buying in.

Smith talked about developing a signature move with each of the Ravens' pass rushers. He'll be key not only to unlocking the potential of Ojabo and Oweh, but also in developing fourth-round rookie Tavius Robinson and others.

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