Where the Ravens stand: The Ravens have one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL in Haloti Ngata, who was given the franchise tag this month. The rumblings about releasing nose tackle Kelly Gregg (due $3.5 million this season) have quieted, although second-round pick Terrence Cody should see more playing time this season. Cory Redding is in the final year of his contract, which means the Ravens have to think ahead for that position. The Ravens have been developing dependable backups in Brandon McKinney, Lamar Divens, Arthur Jones and Paul Kruger.
Chances that the Ravens draft a defensive lineman in first three rounds: Moderate. The Ravens could address the need for a young pass-rushing defensive end. Trevor Pryce surprisingly left at the start of last season after being cut, Redding turns 31 during his contract season and Kruger has failed to live up to expectations. The Ravens have quality young depth at defensive tackle, but they could see some value at that position early in the draft.
Possibly on Ravens radar: DE -- Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple), Cameron Heyward (Ohio State), Da'Quan Bowers (Clemson), Adrian Clayborn (Iowa). DT – Marvin Austin (North Carolina); Christian Ballard (Iowa).
Outlook: Wilkerson and Heyward are expected to be high on the Ravens' draft board for the 26th pick. Wilkerson has been a fast riser since the end of the college season, and Heyward solidified his status with a gritty performance in the Sugar Bowl. The risky pick would be Bowers, who could fall out of the first round because of questions about his knee. Clayborn is another question mark because he reportedly has Erb's palsy, which has left him with weakness in his right arm.
At defensive tackle, the Ravens don't have a major need but Austin has received first-round grades from some teams. He is stoutly built and runs like a linebacker, but he didn't play in 2010 because of improper dealings with an agent.
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