This draft is loaded with defensive linemen, and there's a decent chance the Ravens grab one in the 1st round.
Leading up to the draft, The Baltimore Sun will look at the Ravens' personnel at each position, explore whether they could add to that position and analyze whom they might target.
Today we'll examine defensive linemen.
Current defensive linemen under contract: Defensive ends Brent Urban, Lawrence Guy, Kapron Lewis-Moore and Nordly Capi; defensive tackles Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan and Carl Davis
Chances the Ravens will draft a defensive lineman in first three rounds: Good. No player has been connected to the Ravens in various mock drafts more than Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner, who likely would slide into the defensive end spot that Chris Canty vacated. If the Ravens don't take him at No. 6, they'll surely grab at least one defensive lineman later in the draft. General manager Ozzie Newsome always is looking for opportunities to bolster his team in the trenches, and this draft is loaded with talented defensive linemen.
Possibly on Ravens' radar: Defensive ends Buckner, Robert Nkemdiche (Mississippi), Emmanuel Ogbah (Oklahoma State); defensive tackles Quinton Jefferson (Maryland), Austin Johnson (Penn State), A'Shawn Robinson (Alabama)
Outlook: When it comes to the Ravens and drafting defensive linemen, it isn't a matter of if. It's a matter of when and who. They've taken an interior defensive lineman in six straight drafts, including three in a row in which they used one of their first three picks on the position. It's not a major need, but the Ravens like carrying a deep defensive line rotation and have a hard time resisting big and athletic players who can dominate up front. Buckner fits that profile, and there is a good chance he'll be the Ravens' pick at No. 6 if they prioritize the best player available over need. Nkemdiche, who has the physical tools the Ravens love but a slew of off-field red flags, could be a wild card if he drops in the draft. While the Ravens are looking for edge rushers, another interior pass-rushing threat would be a nice weapon for defensive coordinator Dean Pees. The Ravens also could use another big run stuffer behind Williams, who will be a free agent next offseason. The draft is so stocked with talented defensive linemen that the Ravens can wait until the fourth round and still land a solid performer at the position.