Pass Rush Remains Ravens’ ‘Biggest Concern’
The Ravens thought that they had addressed one in all their greatest wants once they reached an settlement with edge rusher Za’Darius Smith early in free company, however the deal fell via.
Baltimore revamped its protection this offseason by loading up within the secondary and bolstering its run protection, however the go rush stays a query mark.
Tyus Bowser, who’s recovering from a torn Achilles, led the Ravens in sacks final season with seven, and rookie Odafe Oweh had 5. No different edge defender on the present roster had any sacks in 2021.
“Without question, pressuring the quarterback is the biggest concern the Ravens have going into the 2022 season,” Russell Street Report’s Chris Schisler wrote.
The Ravens might have the very best secondary within the league, however a subpar go rush might restrict the defensive backs’ effectiveness and in the end stop the group from making a deep playoff run, Schisler mentioned.
“Having a great secondary increases the chance of coverage sacks where the opposing quarterback holds the ball too long. The secondary helps the front seven, yet the front seven has to hold up its end of the bargain,” Schisler wrote. “Without players winning one on one matchups up front the work of the defensive backs only goes so far. The Ravens’ lack of difference makers that go after the quarterback could become a weak link.
“The Ravens have lots of the items synonymous with a Super Bowl contender. If they discover themselves within the playoffs towards Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, having sufficient go rush is crucial. The one factor that might maintain the Ravens again is go rush that performs vanishing acts.”
That said, there is cause for optimism. It starts with Oweh, who showed flashes last year and could make a jump in Year 2.
“In concept, he could possibly be the double-digit sack artist the group wants,” Schisler wrote.
Bowser has shown steady improvement since the Ravens drafted him in the second round in 2017, and his best football might still be ahead of him.
“Tyus Bowser is a greater all-around linebacker than he’s a go rusher. The excellent news is that Bowser is coming off a career-high seven sacks,” Schisler wrote. “The gentle appears to be on and Bowser is likely one of the hardest staff on the roster. It takes exterior linebackers three to 4 seasons to grow to be the gamers they are going to be for the height of their careers. Bowser could possibly be reaching the prime years of his profession. The query is how excessive can his manufacturing get?”
Expectations are high for second-round pick David Ojabo, who could be on the field as early as October after suffering a torn Achilles in March, and a reunion with free agent Justin Houston, who played better last season than his 4.5 sack total suggests, wouldn’t be surprising.
A player to keep an eye on is Daelin Hayes, a 2021 fifth-round pick who was impressive in the preseason last year. He spent most of his rookie season on injured reserve after suffering an ankle injury in Week 3 and then undergoing a knee procedure.
More stress from the inside additionally would assist. The addition of veteran Michael Pierce and rookie Travis Jones, in addition to the continued progress of Justin Madubuike in his third season, ought to go a good distance in that regard.