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David Ojabo is reportedly healthy and the Ravens expect a break out in 2024

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By: Joshua Reed

Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens have high hopes for former second-round pick who has been hampered by injuries to begin his career.

Spending a top 100 pick in the NFL Draft on a prospect who will spend most if not all of their rookie season recovering from a major injury is typically frowned upon. That range has historically been reserved for rookies who can come in and contribute right away with the occasional exception of a quarterback who sits for a year or two to develop.

However, when the Baltimore Ravens stopped former Michigan product David Ojabo’s freefall in 2022 by taking him at No. 45 overall after he suffered a torn Achilles at his pro day in late March, they believed the risk was well worth the potential reward. He managed to get on the field at the end of his rookie season for three games and recorded his first career sack on Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

After an offseason of hype and raised expectations, Ojabo had a lackluster preseason before suffering a knee injury in Week 3 which ultimately resulted in season-ending surgery. Nevertheless, the Ravens still believe Ojabo is poised to take a big leap in production and impact in his third season.

“I think David is just gonna break out,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL’s Annual League Meeting.

When Ojabo has been on the field in the regular season, he has shown he can be a disruptive presence coming off the edge. His two career sacks resulted in forced fumbles recovered by a teammate on the opposing team’s side of the field and set up scoring drives.

With Ojabo out and 2021 first-rounder Odafe Oweh missing four games during the first half of the regular season, the Ravens’ surprising saving grace on the edge last season was a pair of 10-year veterans who weren’t signed until August or later. Both Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy had career years in which they recorded nine-plus sacks a piece. Harbaugh told reporters he has been in communication with both seasoned pros and remains hopeful about the possibility of bringing “one or both of them back.”

Oweh could be potentially heading into the final year of his rookie contract if the Ravens don’t opt to exercise his fifth-year option by the May 2 deadline. While he has yet to come close to notching double-digit sacks, the team still believes he ascending toward greatness and is happy with the consistent pressure he generates. In 2023, he recorded five sacks, two forced fumbles, 12 quarterback hits, and four tackles for loss in 13 games.

As exciting as the prospect of retaining Clowney and/or Van Noy are for 2024, Ojabo and Oweh are the future. Harbaugh foresees the young tandem who were high school teammates and reunited in the pros having tremendous success together heading into pivotal seasons for them both.

“I think he and Odafe are going to be partners in crime,” Harbaugh said. “I thinks those guys are going to play great together (and) they’re ready to roll man. Every time I talk to them, every time I see them, they’re both brimming with enthusiasm, (and) they’re working hard.”

Originally posted on Baltimore Beatdown – All Posts