Training Camp Competition: Outside Linebacker

(From left to right) OLB Daelin Hayes and OLB Vince Biegel

As we prepare for the start of training camp on July 27, here's a look at how each position group is shaping up:

In the Hunt

Odafe Oweh

Justin Houston

Tyus Bowser

Daelin Hayes

Vince Biegel

David Ojabo

Steven Means

Jeremiah Moon

Chuck Wiley

Projected Starters

Oweh had five sacks as a rookie and is just scratching the surface of his promising potential. Bowser led Baltimore in sacks in 2021 and had his finest overall season, but he suffered a torn Achilles in January and his readiness for Week 1 is uncertain. Houston re-signed earlier this month, and the 33-year-old veteran will play a major role as both a pass rusher and mentor for young talents like Oweh and second-round pick Ojabo, who is recovering from a torn Achilles suffered March 19 at his Pro Day.

Best Battle

Hayes and Biegel will compete to secure a place in the outside linebacker rotation. Hayes is getting a fresh start after an injury-plagued rookie season and looked good during minicamps, showing explosive burst off the edge. Biegel was signed in May after playing five games with the Dolphins last year. A fourth-round pick in 2017, Biegel missed the 2020 season with a torn Achilles, but he's starting training camp healthy. The Ravens will welcome any outside linebackers that add punch to the pass rush, especially with the timetable for Ojabo's return uncertain. Hayes and Biegel could also add value by contributing on special teams.

Under the Radar

Houston could be leaned on more heavily this season, especially early in the year if Bowser is sidelined. He had 4 ½ sacks in 2021, but that number is misleading. He led the Ravens with 17 quarterback hits and played 61% of the defensive snaps. Houston is a proven pass rusher, with 102 career sacks, including seven seasons with at least eight sacks. With Bowser and Ojabo both coming back from injuries, Houston is an important piece of the pass rush puzzle.

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