Evaluating the Ravens Top Potential Pick at Edge Rusher in the NFL Draft

Baltimore needs to boost pass rush.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens are like going to add an edge rusher in this year's draft.

The question is whether they will use the 27th overall selection or seek value in later rounds to find that player.

The three pass rushers most closely linked to Baltimore are Penn State defensive end Jayson Oweh, Georgia outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari and Miami (Fla.) defensive end Jaelan Phillips. 

NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah rated those players heading into the draft.  

"It's fascinating because Oweh doesn't have the sacks and Baltimore has always preached production. So the fact that he doesn't have any production I would say, oh, he's not going to Baltimore," Jeremiah said. "But I think from how hard he plays, and I think that kind of matches the DNA a little bit with the Ravens and I think he did got a little bit of disruption even though he didn't have the production. 

"I would guess Ojulari would be somebody because of -- having played in the SEC, having production there, having some explosive numbers, I would say that would be somebody that they would probably take over Oweh if he were to get there. So that would be kind of the order I would have those guys. 

"Phillips is a wild card. If teams are comfortable with Phillips with some of the medical stuff in the past, then he'd jump right to the front of the line."

Here's a breakdown:

Ojulari

Size: 6-foot-3, 240 pounds

Career Stats (three seasons): 67 tackles, 11 sacks, three forced fumbles 

Analysis: Ojulari could be the best pure pass rusher in this year's draft.  He can also play as a defensive end. .Ojulari was a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which goes annually to the nation’s top defensive player. .He was named All-SEC Second Team by the league's 14 head coaches and the Associated Press. In his final season, Ojulari led team with 35 QB pressures, 11 more than any other teammate. ... Defensive MVP of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Oweh

Size: 6-foot-5, 252 pounds

Career Stats (three seasons): 63 tackles, 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles.

Analysis: An explosive player that can fly to the ball. ... Made seven starts. ... Became the first Penn State defensive lineman with 10 or more tackles in a game since Yetur Gross-Matos against Indiana in 2018 (10 tackles). ... Had 38 tackles through the first seven games of the season, the most by a Penn State defensive lineman since Daquan Jones in 2013 and Austin Johnson in 2015 (40).

Phillips

Career Stats (three seasons): 86 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 5 passes defended.

Pros: Phillips is agile for his size and will match up well with offensive linemen in the NFL. Over three seasons at Miami, he finished with 86 tackles, 12.5 sacks and one interception. Phillips is also effective against the run, which would make him a solid fit in Baltimore. He ran a 4.56-second time in the 40 during his Pro Day, which is an impressive speed for a defensive end.