Baltimore Ravens

Joe Kruger, younger brother of Ravens linebacker, auditioning for NFL

INDIANAPOLIS — Utah defensive end Joe Kruger isn't getting his hopes up that he'll be reunited with his older brother in the NFL.

Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger is expected to be a big-ticket commodity as a free agent after a breakthrough season where he led the Super Bowl champions with nine sacks in the regular season and another 4 1/2 in the playoffs.


Given the Ravens' tight salary-cap situation, Kruger is probably someone they can't afford.

"Paul's going to do whatever's best for him, and his agent, David Dunn, is going to find him the best deal and go from there," Joe Kruger told The Baltimore Sun during the NFL scouting combine. "Of course, if me and Paul come be on the same team that would be amazing, but the chances aren't good. We talked about that, me and Paul.


"Paul has led the way for our family. He's playing very well. I'm proud of him. I'm proud of the spot he's at. He's worked hard for it. This is what he's wanted to do his whole life."

Joe Kruger had a combine meeting with the Ravens, which was something of a formality since he's already met team officials when he's attended games at M&T Bank Stadium.

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"It went good," he said. "We laughed and talked about Paul because I've already met all those guys. It was nice."

Joe Kruger declared early for the draft following his junior season, earning honorable-mention All-Pac-12 as he led the team with six sacks, returned an interception for a touchdown, forced two fumbles and blocked a field goal. Dave Kruger, a four-year starter at defensive tackle, is also in this draft.

"Paul ran me through what this was like for him, what the experience was like, how to calm myself down when things get tense," Joe Kruger said. "Things are going well. I'm prepared for it. I've met a lot of good people."

Joe Kruger has drawn high marks for his size, quickness, arm length, effort and ability to bull-rush offensive linemen into the backfield, drawing comparisons to Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Jared Odrick

"I played all four positions on the defensive line," Joe Kruger said. "Sometimes, I play too high because I'm a tall guy. When I work my moves off my bull rush, that works really well for me."