Baltimore Ravens

LB Kamalei Correa surprised Ravens drafted him, ready to help pass rush

Boise State linebacker Kamalei Correa knew he was going to be picked fairly high in the 2016 NFL draft. Yet Correa didn't think it was going to be by the Ravens.

"I honestly had no clue, I only met with the Ravens at the [NFL] Combine for about 10 minutes," Correa said after his first rookie practice Friday in Owings Mills. "I was like, 'Man, these guys are not interested in me.' I got picked and I'm blessed, man."


The Ravens traded down twice -- sending their original No. 36 pick to Jacksonville for the No. 38 pick and a fifth-round choice, then sending the No. 38 pick to Miami for the No. 42 pick and a fourth-round choice -- and took the 6-foot-3, 245-pound Correa.

Along with Brigham Young defensive end Bronson Kaufusi and Grand Valley State defensive end Matt Judon, who were taken in the third and fifth rounds respectively, Correa is hoping to give a much-needed boost to an aging –- and in the case of Terrell Suggs, injured –- pass rush.


Correa, who describes himself as a "see ball, get ball kind of guy [who] just loves to hit," knows that he will have rather large cleats to eventually fill.

"To play where guys like Ray Lewis, Elvis Dumervil, Terrell Suggs and all these guys play," Correa said, "it's just so surreal and I'm going to soak up everything I can from those guys because they've been playing for awhile and I'm just going to learn from them."

Asked if he was aware that the team's first three picks –- offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, Correa and Kaufusi -- are of Polynesian descent, Correa said, "I was aware, and that's kind of cool. It's just going to be like family. That's how we were raised back home. I'm excited to be part of a new family."

Correa -- who goes by K.C. -- grew up in Honolulu and played on the same high school team as former Heisman Trophy winner and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, going into his second NFL season after being picked No. 1 overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2015 draft.

Recalling their practices at the Saint Louis School, Correa said, "Man, he's fast. He would score almost every time he got the football. We just knew we were going to win every single game because he's a good person and a good player and nobody could stop him."

Correa was first-team all-Mountain West Conference as a sophomore after recording 12 sacks and 19 tackles for losses. With more attention paid to stopping him last season, Correa's numbers fell to seven sacks and 11 tackles for losses, and he was named second-team.

Still, his goal with the Ravens as a rookie is pretty straightforward.

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"My expectation for myself is just to play hard every snap and give it all I've got, because there's nothing else I can ask from myself or someone else can ask of me," said Correa.


Any pressure being a second-round pick?

"Yeah, they're paying me, so on Sundays I better show up and play," he said.

Perhaps the biggest eye-opener for Correa so far had nothing to do with what he saw Friday on the indoor practice field. It was looking at his rookie contract.

"To see those taxes, that hurt,"  he said with a smile.