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Draft Notes II: Outside Linebacker

Ravens: Draft Notes II

Priority: Outside Linebacker (LOLB)

Like offensive line (discussed in Draft Notes I), look for the Ravens to make left outside linebacker opposite Terrell Suggs a priority in the offseason.  There are some intriguing free agents at that position. If the Ravens don’t land a player in free agency then they will surely make a move in the upcoming draft.

It  seems Ozzie Newsome has been trying to find that pass rusher opposite Terrell Suggs in recent drafts. Paul Kruger and Sergio Kindle were supposed to fill that void. Kruger (6 sacks) had a solid year and may have improved his chances of getting more playing time next season. Kruger though might be more of a pass rush specialist rather than an every down outside linebacker. Then Sergio Kindle, who hasn’t been the same since his accident a few years ago, is still a work in progress.  If Kindle doesn’t make huge strides in training camp, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he is released. Darnell Ellerbe could be an option as well.

The veteran Jarret Johnson has been the most dependable as far as stopping the run and playing the Ravens 3-4 scheme. However, Johnson might not be retained because of his age and salary. Last year the Ravens went with the youth movement not retaining veterans Todd Heap, Derrick Mason and Kelly Gregg. The same philosophy might apply. Still, Johnson may be an option because the depth chart isn’t stacked with a successor at this point.

Terrell Suggs had an awesome year (Defensive Player of the Year), but was slowed down in the playoffs; teams were clamping down and paying close attention to Suggs. An outside linebacker who can draw attention away from Suggs will be an added benefit.

Prospects Rush Linebackers:

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