Odafe Oweh didn't end up beating out his former college teammate, but he was still recognized for his very strong rookie season.
Oweh is part of the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie team, announced Tuesday. The 31st-overall pick is one of the four defensive linemen on the team, joining New England's Christian Barmore, Indianapolis' Kwity Paye and Miami's Jaelan Phillips.
Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons took home the Rookie of the Year honors, beating out Offensive Rookie of the Year and Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase.
Oweh said midway through the season that he was texting with Parsons, his close friend and college teammate at Penn State, about how they were competing for the top defensive rookie award.
Despite chatter that Oweh was an ultra-talented but also raw player coming into the NFL, he got off to a torrid start.
Oweh logged a sack in his first game, then earned NFL Defensive Player of the Week honors after just his second game, in which he helped force an interception and notched a game-winning forced fumble and recovery against the Chiefs.
Three of Oweh's five sacks came in his first five games, and he also had eight quarterback hits over that span. One of his best games was in Miami when he logged a sack, three quarterback hits and four tackles, including two for loss.
Although his rookie season had a tough ending as he missed the final two games with a foot injury, Oweh showed his impressive burst and closing speed as a pass rusher and was also very stout against the run. There's no doubt the future is bright.
The Ravens' other first-round pick, wide receiver Rashod Bateman, also had a strong rookie season with 46 catches for 515 yards and one touchdown despite missing the entire preseason and first five games due to a core muscle surgery. Chase and Miami's Jaylen Waddle made the PFWA team at wide receiver.
Of the 22 players to make the All-Rookie offensive and defensive team, 14 were first-round picks and seven were second-round selections. Only one, Chiefs guard Trey Smith, was taken on Day 3.