Instant Analysis: Ravens Select Jayson Oweh with 31st Overall Pick

Aug 31, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive end Jayson Oweh (28) reacts following a sack during the first quarter against the Idaho Vandals at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

With the 31st pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Jayson Oweh, defensive end, Penn State.

An absolute freak of an athlete. Standing at 6’5, 252 pounds, with a 4.36 forty time, Oweh is as explosive as it comes.

His lack of productivity is undoubtedly a concern. But Oweh has that magic word that all coaches love: potential. Given the Ravens track record of developing defensive ends, it’s easy to see why the front office fell in love with Oweh.

For those unfamiliar with Oweh’s work, his scouting report can be found below via TDN:

Jayson Oweh projects as a developmental edge defender at the pro level. With rare length and athletic tools, Oweh has plenty of potential and his ceiling as a prospect is that of a 10-plus sack per season pass rusher. There’s explosiveness, bend, length, and ample room to build onto his frame. But any team drafting Oweh early is going to have to do so with the understanding that there’s probably going to be an incubation period before he enters the NFL and becomes the pass rusher he’s capable of being—this is a redshirt sophomore who played in just 20 collegiate football games and needs to mature both technically and physically before taking on a high volume of snaps. Oweh’s athletic ability will grant him sporadic reps, even as a rookie, to serve as a designated pass rusher, but I wouldn’t advocate for a high workload on early downs until he’s more filled out with his frame. Oweh is lean and can give up valuable real estate as a run defender; he’s lacking in the core and lower-body power to hold ground and stack up tackles. If you’re looking for a silver lining in his early-down role, he’ll win from wide angles and he has the functional athleticism in space to play as a 3-4 outside linebacker for any team looking to call upon his skills as more of a raw athlete. I do believe Oweh will reach his potential, but he’s young, relatively inexperienced, and needs more polish and more power rolled into his frame before he gets there.

After an offseason that resulted in the loss of defensive end Matt Judon, Yannick Ngakoue, and Jihad Ward, the Ravens had a massive void at the edge position. The primary concern here is Oweh’s lack of productivity. In his three seasons at Penn State, Oweh had seven sacks in 20 games, including zero sacks in the 2020 season. It’s hard to envision Oweh being a day one starter, and expecting him to replace with Ngakoue or Judon’s production would be awfully lofty.

Ideally, Don Martindale would place Oweh in winning situations. 

Scenarios where he would have favorable matchups as a designated pass rusher. Perhaps, having Oweh get to and hit the QB a few times will give him the confidence he needs to do it regularly.

Overall, the Ravens filled two massive needs with their two first-rounders, first at WR then at DE. In the later rounds, they should continue to look to add additional defensive line depth and attempt to find a potential replacement for Orlando Brown Jr. Other than that; the Ravens are off to a hot start after a shaky free agency.

Grade: B+