Clock Ticking For Ravens Pass Rusher

The pressure is on for Baltimore Ravens edge rusher David Ojabo to stay healthy this season.
Sep 17, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) is tackled after a catch by Baltimore Ravens safety Geno Stone (26) and Baltimore Ravens linebacker David Ojabo (90) in the third quarter at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 17, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) is tackled after a catch by Baltimore Ravens safety Geno Stone (26) and Baltimore Ravens linebacker David Ojabo (90) in the third quarter at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports / Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports
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The Baltimore Ravens recorded a league-high 60 sacks last year, but to maintain that pass-rush this season, they'll need some players to step up.

Chief among those players is third-year edge rusher David Ojabo, who could be facing a make-or-break season this fall.

A 2022 second-round pick out of Michigan, Ojabo has played just five games through his first two seasons. A torn Achilles at his pro day caused him to miss most of his rookie season, then another severe leg injury early this season limited him to just three games, and he only played four snaps in the third one.

To be clear, Ojabo's injuries aren't his fault and it's an unfortunate part of the game. However, those injuries still have a major impact on his performance and perception, whether it's fair or not.

When healthy, Ojabo has shown himself to be a very productive pass rusher. The Nigerian-born linebacker racked up 11 sacks in his lone season as a starter at Michigan, and he boasts outstanding athleticism for someone who stands at 6-4 and over 250 pounds. It's telling that the Ravens took him in the middle of the second round even after his Achilles injury.

That's the catch though, "when healthy." The saying goes that the best ability is availability, and Ojabo simply hasn't been available enough to make a true impact.

Of course, the Ravens would love for Ojabo to stay healthy and regain the form he had at Michigan, but his play after two major injuries remains a question mark. If he gets hurt again, or just simply fails to make an impact, it's not a stretch to think the Ravens could cut their losses and move on.

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Jon Alfano

JON ALFANO