Eisenberg: 50 Words or Less

OLB John Eisenberg

Various thoughts on various things, all in 50 words or less:

Interesting to hear GM Eric DeCosta tell "The Lounge" that Odafe Oweh's ability to set an edge and stop the run was among the biggest reasons the Ravens liked him and drafted him at No. 31 overall. It means he likely projects as a three-down defender if/when he's ready.

One obvious, pandemic-related change for the Ravens is they're taking fewer chances with small-school prospects about whom less is known due to protocols. In 2020 and 2021, they've drafted eight Big 10 players, four from the SEC, three from the Big 12, two from SMU and one from Notre Dame.

To be clear, the Ravens haven't entirely given up on small-school prospects. Their 2021 undrafted rookie free agents are mostly from major college conferences but also from Graceland College, Saginaw Valley State and Monmouth. And cornerback Khalil Dorsey, of Northern Arizona, was a 2020 UDFA, now on the roster.

The Ravens reportedly paid what constitutes big money in the UDFA marketplace to land TCU safety Ar'Darius Washington. We're about to find out how much size matters because, by all accounts, he is quite a football player who happens to stand 5-feet-8 and weigh 176 pounds.

With Washington, fifth-round pick Shaun Wade and third-round pick Brandon Stephens, the Ravens are making an investment in the future of their secondary. There aren't many snaps up for grabs right now, but check back in two years. The new guys all bring interesting talents to the table.

The unbalanced portion of the schedule could make a difference in the AFC North. The Steelers play the Bills, Seahawks and Titans, reigning division winners. The Ravens play the Colts, Rams and Dolphins (combined 31-17 last year). The Browns get the Texans, Cardinals and Patriots (combined 19-29 last year).

Yes, it's kind of rotten that the Browns have a bye between their games with the Ravens in Week 12 and Week 14 while the Ravens have to play the Steelers in Pittsburgh. But I'm just not a conspiracy theorist when it comes to such scheduling quirks. Everyone has gripes.

I'm guessing the Ravens wouldn't hate the idea of Aaron Rodgers playing for another team in 2021 as it certainly would soften the toughest part of their schedule. (The Packers visit Baltimore Dec. 19.) But it's a wash if Rodgers lands in Denver, where the Ravens play in Week 4.

If you're old enough to remember (as I am) when holdouts by first-round draft picks were a routine part of the NFL spring and summer, you're probably amazed (as I am) to see how utterly and completely holdouts have been eradicated via collective bargaining. Rashod Bateman is already under contract.

Let's just go ahead and rename the first weeks of the 2021 season the Ravens' "Reunion Tour" as they'll face Yannick Ngakoue, Willie Snead IV, John Brown and Darren Waller of the Raiders in Week 1 and Orlando Brown Jr. of the Chiefs in Week 2.

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