Ravens 2015 Training Camp positional preview: Front Seven


— The Baltimore Ravens are known for being a physical football team. They smother the running game of opposing teams and often times dictate the tone of their games. It all starts with the front seven. Despite the loss of Haloti Ngata via trade to the Detroit Lions, the Ravens front seven is still among the tops in the NFL.

Outside Linebackers Starters: Elvis Dumervil, Terrell Suggs

Dumervil was one of the best pass rushers in the NFL last year. He is a shorter pass rusher but is able to get up underneath offensive tackles and use leverage. Dumervil feels that the Ravens had a great opportunity to win a Super Bowl last year. He trained extra hard this offseason. He sits at 90 sacks going into the season and said that he definitely has getting his 100th sack on his mind.

Suggs reported to mandatory offseason workouts in what he referred to as his “walking around weight.” He planned on intensifying his workouts before training camp because he wanted to give his body time to recover from last season. Suggs knows that he is pretty much the last man standing from their great defensive teams of the past. This could be one of the last seasons for Suggs. He said that he will take it year by year and evaluate where he is at the end of the season.

In the rotation: Za’Darius Smith, Courtney Upshaw

Smith is a rookie that will have an impact as a situational pass rusher. He will help make up for the loss of Pernell McPhee. Smith brings the versatility element to the Ravens since he can also play defensive end in nickel situations.

Upshaw has been a presence for the Ravens against the run. He said that he wants to get the chance rush the passer more this year. He shared snaps with Dumervil last season, playing primarily on rushing downs.

Longshot: Brennen Beyer

Inside Linebackers Starters: C.J. Mosley, Daryl Smith

Mosley had wrist surgery and was out for most of the Ravens off season activities. He is said to be ready to go in training camp. Mosley will be looking to follow up an outstanding rookie season. His instincts and speed allows him to diagnose plays and flow to the ball in a flash.

Smith is one of the best kept secrets on the Ravens front seven. He doesn’t garner much attention in the media but those in the know are well aware of his ability to play the inside linebacker position. Smith is a very sure tackler and is able to fight off blocks to make the play.

Depth: Arthur Brown, Albert McClellan, Zachary Orr

Brown is a former second round pick that has struggled to catch on for the Ravens. His shot at making the roster may depend on his ability to contribute on special teams.

Longshot: Andrew Bose

Defensive Line Starters: Chris Canty, Timmy Jernigan, Brandon Williams

Canty is back in the fold after briefly testing the free agency. He returns to the Ravens with a mission to tie up some unfinished business from last year. He fully plans on retaining his starting position on the defensive line but knows that he will have to be a mentor to some of the younger defensive linemen as well.

Jernigan is a very agile and fast for a big man. He can play any position on the line and do so with a very high motor. He will bear the bulk of the responsibility of making up for the loss of Ngata. Jernigan played well when Ngata was out last year.

Williams has made his mark as one of the best interior linemen in the NFL. He is an ascending player that has tremendous strength and stamina. Williams will occupy two blockers which allows the inside linebackers to attack the ball carrier.

In the rotation: Carl Davis, DeAngelo Tyson, Brent Urban, Kapron Lewis-Moore

Davis is a third round draft pick that is very stout against the run. He will see snaps at all three defensive line positions and should be in the rotation when the season starts.

Urban and Lewis-Moore are both returning from season ending injury. Each of them showed flashes of their ability but need to remain healthy. As the old saying goes, “You can’t make the club in the tub.”

On the bubble: Lawrence Guy, Steven Means, Casey Walker

Longshot: Christo Bilukidi, Zach Thompson, Casey Walker