OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Odafe Oweh showed solid burst and athleticism during Ravens rookie minicamp.
While he admittedly has much more to learn, Oweh is a perfect fit for the Ravens defense.
"I came from a 4-3 defense, and I’m playing outside linebacker," Oweh said. "So, I’m picking it up pretty well, and it’s making me feel good about my versatility and what I can do, and I’m just seeping in more and more information, and I’m getting it right now. So, it’s a good start.”
Oweh managed 38 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss, over seven games as a redshirt sophomore. The prior year, he finished with five sacks over 11 games.
Oweh, 6-foot-5, 251 pounds, is an impressive athlete who ran a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash and had a 39.5 vertical leap and a 134-inch broad jump during his Pro Day.
"We want him to play fast," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We could put a period after that. Let’s do that. And if we’re going to make a mistake along the way – I think it goes for really any rookie – make it going full speed. We want to play 100 miles an hour, so let’s do that.
"Then we’ll work back from there, in terms of our assignments and responsibilities. He’s also a very smart player, and he picks things up quickly. [He has] a nice demeanor. You saw him out there today; works extremely hard. So, I do think he’ll pick things up quickly.”
While Oweh did not have e a sack in his final season at Penn State, the Ravens expect him to be a disruptive force.
"The thing that stood out to me with Odafe is his play on first and second down is so much further ahead than most guys that you watch coming out of college, because you can tell that he made it a priority that he was going to set the edge of the defense – that’s big in any defense, but especially ours – and how competitive he is," defensive coordinator Don Martindale said. "You could just see on every play; he was going to compete. It’s just one of those things now that we just can’t wait to get rolling and get him in here and get going. We’re finally getting close to playing football again.”
Oweh is not taking anything for granted. He spent a lot of time with outside Linebackers Coach Drew Wilkins during last weekend's minicamp getting one-on-one instruction.
“Every day is a day when someone is trying to take your spot," Oweh said. "You’ve got to work hard; you’ve got to suck up anything that’s ailing you. It’s your job at this point, and it feels so good. In college, it was always like a side part. You were trying to get your academics right, and then obviously, you were playing collegiate football. But it feels good to try to hone in on your craft and perfect it every single day.
"So, that’s probably what I’ve learned the most with the Ravens organization – that they pride themselves on trying to perfect your craft, and I’m doing that every single practice, every single second of practice. And outside of practice, I’m in here early, and we leave late. So, that’s probably what I’ve learned the most.”