Ravens Defensive Line Cited for Ominous Mistake Heading Into 2021

Matt Judon

Getty Matt Judon celebrates a Ravens win in Cincinnati.

The Baltimore Ravens have seen their roster change in a major way this offseason, and perhaps one of the biggest changes is on the defensive side of the ball.

Baltimore has lost a few major pieces on defense, and that might be their undoing as it relates to the 2021 season. The Ravens have seen many changes, and while they have done some positive things, they might regret a few of their biggest losses up front.

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Recently, Bleacher Report took a look at the biggest regrets every team has from the offseason. For the Ravens, Kristopher Knox selected the decision to let Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue walk in free agency as the biggest potential regret due to the power both brought the team’s defensive line.

He wrote:

“The Baltimore Ravens did help reload their pass rush by drafting edge-defender Odafe Oweh in the first round. However, that move only came after Baltimore lost pass-rushers Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency.

Judon signed with the New England Patriots, while Ngakoue landed with the Las Vegas Raiders.

The issue isn’t necessarily that Baltimore let either Judon or Ngakoue get away. It’s that both left. The two were responsible for nine of the Ravens’ 39 sacks in 2020. Losing Judon is particularly regrettable, though, as he was a defensive mainstay with 15.5 sacks and 63 quarterback pressures over the last two seasons.

Baltimore looks like a Super Bowl contender in 2021, but a title will prove difficult if the Ravens struggle to pressure opposing passers. While Oweh is a promising prospect—one who had 11.5 sacks over the past two seasons—he’s unproven as a pro.”

Going into the season, the team’s line may be more than a bit unproven. It will be on the cast that has been assembled to step up and get this done, or else the Ravens might suffer a bit.

Ravens’ Edge Spot Called ‘Bare’ Recently

It’s a common thought that the Ravens are thin at this key spot. This offseason, the Ravens have seen more turnover on the roster and while they added Odafe Oweh in the draft, that could hardly be classified as enough by some. There’s no question the team has some major needs in terms of replacing some players who have left in key spots up front.

Recently, writer Dan Parr took a closer look at the biggest draft needs for every team in the league. In terms of the Ravens, he believes the team has a major need up front on defense as it relates to getting some key players to help the defense as well as rush the passer.

He said:

“The cupboard is looking a bit bare off the edge. Replacing Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue is essential. As for Lamar Jackson’s supporting cast, the signings of Sammy Watkins and Kevin Zeitler shouldn’t prevent Baltimore from adding more help for the receiving corps and offensive line, especially with Orlando Brown requesting a trade.”

The Ravens haven’t made any more big additions this offseason to this point, so it’s more than likely that they will be rolling into the season with this group. It might be a bare group as some see it.

Pressure on Young Ravens Linemen

Knowing how many questions this group has, how will the Ravens have success? That will depend on a few young guns stepping up like Odafe Oweh and Daelin Hayes. Additionally, the Ravens have some other players who need to step up such as Jihad Ward and Pernell McPhee. The only way the team is going to account for this is to have multiple players stepping up and contributing, which was just how things were when Judon and Ngakoue were playing for the squad last year.

Through the years, the Ravens have managed to find players to pressure the passer. They will be called on to do that again so they can avoid this potential regret.

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