Skip to main content

Mailbag: Will David Ojabo Be a Starter Next Season?

Baltimore Ravens linebacker David Ojabo (90) attempts to run past Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Jack Conklin (78) during an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Cleveland.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker David Ojabo (90) attempts to run past Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Jack Conklin (78) during an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Cleveland.

Brown: I think David Ojabo has a golden opportunity to earn consistent playing time whether he starts or not. His development will become even more important if Justin Houston doesn't re-sign after leading the Ravens in sacks last season with 9.5.

After playing in just two games last season and missing the first three months of the season, Ojabo is still more like a rookie than a second-year player. Asking him to win a starting job by Week 1 would be a lot.

However, the Ravens will be expecting him to improve their pass rush and make a few splash plays on defense. Ojabo is athletically gifted and would've been a first-round pick if he had not suffered a torn Achilles at his Pro Day last March. He's a player that Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald is very familiar with after coaching him at Michigan, giving Macdonald added insight into Ojabo's strengths and weaknesses. Ojabo knows the upcoming season is important for him. I think he'll rise to the occasion and become a key part of their outside linebacker rotation.

Downing:At this point, the Ravens have held off on adding any new pieces to the roster through the first week of free agency. General Manager Eric DeCosta basically told fans to expect this back in January when he said, "it's not going to be a situation where the market's open, and we're just going and signing guys left and right." The Ravens are relatively tight against the salary cap and need to maintain flexibility given the uncertainty with quarterback Lamar Jackson's contract. Another team could sign Jackson to an offer sheet that the Ravens want to match, and the Ravens could also still get a long-term deal done with Jackson that would drastically change the salary cap space. 

The Ravens have made it clear they want to add pieces to the receiver room, and I still expect them to sign a veteran at some point. According to multiple reports, they brought in veteran Nelson Agholor for a visit this week. They also reportedly have interest in Odell Beckham Jr., who remains on the market. The Ravens have been connected to Beckham since last year, but he has indicated on Twitter that he's not pleased with the offers coming his way. There have been reports that he's seeking an average salary in the range of $20 million a year, which Beckham disputed, but the veteran receiver clearly has yet to receive an offer that he's willing to accept. Whether it's Agholor, Beckham, or someone else, the Ravens will bring in a veteran eventually. There are still talented receivers available as the market has been slow to develop for that position, and the Ravens will eventually make a move at that spot.

Downing:When DeCosta was asked about Queen back in January, he said the Ravens have yet to make a decision on whether to pick up that option. The deadline to make that decision is May 1, and the question will likely come up again when DeCosta addresses the media at the pre-draft press conference next month. Queen came on strong last year, particularly after the addition of linebacker Roquan Smith next to him, and he finished the season with a team-high 117 tackles. Having the duo of Queen and Smith next to each other for the foreseeable future is an alluring possibility, and they have the potential to be a foundation of this defense. Of course, there is a business aspect to it all, and the Ravens are maintaining flexibility on the cap front.

Brown:My guess is that Peters will re-sign, but it could go either way. DeCosta shared his fondness for Peters at the combine saying, "He's a guy that I hold in very high regard." DeCosta added that he's had conversations with Peters' agent, and that talks would be ongoing. Peters is popular with teammates and coaches and plays with an edge and swagger that's contagious.

However, free agency is unpredictable and Peters could get an offer from another team that's difficult to pass up, unless he's dead set on remaining with the Ravens. Stay tuned on this one. The Ravens are already likely to draft at least one cornerback and are constantly looking for more depth at the position. The return of Peters would help solidify the secondary for next season. Losing Peters would make adding depth at cornerback an even bigger priority.

Related Content