Ravens beat writer Aaron Wilson gives a position-by-position breakdown heading into training camp. Wilson takes a look at the linebacker position, which is the strength of the defense. (Kevin Richardson)
The Baltimore Sun is breaking down where the Ravens stand at each position, including predictions on how many players the team will keep at each spot and which players are locks, long shots or “on the bubble.”
How many they’ll keep: 8 or 9
Locks if healthy: Daryl Smith, C.J. Mosley, Arthur Brown (inside); Terrell Suggs, Elvis Dumervil, Courtney Upshaw, Za’Darius Smith (outside)
On the bubble: Albert McClellan, Zachary Orr (inside)
Long shots: Andrew Bose (inside); Brennen Beyer, Zach Thompson (outside)
Skinny: For undrafted free agents like Bose and Beyer, there’s little opportunity to crack this group. Daryl Smith and Mosley play just about every snap on the inside. Za’Darius Smith, a rookie fourth-round pick, should back up Suggs at rush linebacker with Dumervil and Upshaw rotating on the strong side. It’s not out of the question that the Ravens could move on from Brown, a 2013 second-round pick who has played sparingly his first two seasons. However, Brown’s work this summer has been praised by coaches and the team traditionally gives their higher picks more than two seasons to figure it out. McClellan and Orr are two of the Ravens’ top special teams players and that means a lot to Harbaugh. They figure to stick.