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John Harbaugh: “Critically important” Odafe Oweh, David Ojabo step up this year

Mike Florio and Chris Simms evaluate whether the Ravens reportedly were looking at Baker Mayfield as a starter or backup for Lamar Jackson.

The Ravens defense had 48 sacks during the 2022 regular season, but the players responsible for 18 of them currently aren’t in the team’s plans for 2023.

Calais Campbell was released this month — he signed with the Falcons this week — and edge rushers Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul have not re-signed with the team. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh didn’t rule out their return or the addition of other veterans this week, but his main focus was on two young players taking on bigger roles on the edge this year.

Harbaugh said he’s looking for 2021 first-round pick Odafe Oweh and 2022 second-round pick David Ojabo to take on more of the weight.

“For those two young outside backers to step up and be part of the mix is critically important,” Harbaugh said, via the team’s website. “We were talking about it, and they are excited. They are ready to roll, and I believe in those two guys.”

Ojabo only played in three games as a rookie after recovering from a torn Achilles while Oweh followed up a five-sack rookie season with three sacks in 2022.