PHILADELPHIA, PA – With the 47th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Ravens continued to build up their defense by selecting Houston outside linebacker Tyus Bowser.
The move comes a night after the Ravens spent their first round pick on Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who was the 16th player taken in the draft.
In four seasons with the Cougars, Bowser finished with 137 tackles (70 solo), with 28 of those being for losses. Bower recorded 22.5 sacks (8.5 in 2016), three forced fumbles (two fumble recoveries), and two interceptions.
Bowser missed five games last season after fracturing an orbital bone in his hand. The injury was sustained in a fight with a teammate. Despite the injury, he led the Cougars in sacks.
The addition of Bowser helps solidify a Ravens pass rush that is looking for the successor of Terrell Suggs. Suggs is 34-years-old and will turn 35 in October. Even at his age, he still produces, but it is not guaranteed that he will be around after 2017.
Bowser will be joining a group of young pass rushers on Baltimore’s roster that includes Za’Darius Smith and Matt Judon. Smith was taken in the fourth round of the 2015 draft, and Judon was a 2016 fifth round selection. While these two are promising young players, they have produced just 10.5 sacks combined. Drafting Bowser gives the Ravens another young option to explore. Once Suggs retires (or leaves in free agency), his position will become open, and it will be up to one of these guys to snatch it.
Pass rusher was one of the top needs for the Ravens entering the draft. Now, Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens’ brass need to help out the offense. Building up the secondary and drafting Bowser is great, but the only real addition the Ravens have made to the offense since the 2016 season ended was signing veteran running back Danny Woodhead. Joe Flacco needs weapons, particularly at the receiver position, and the offensive line could use some help as well.
With such a heavy focus on defense this offseason, it’s time to shift the focus to the offensive side of the football.