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The Competition: Defensive End

Posted Jul 14, 2013

“The Competition” is a BaltimoreRavens.com series that breaks down every position battle leading up to training camp.


“The Competition” is a BaltimoreRavens.com series that breaks down every position battle leading up to training camp.

Returning Players

Arthur Jones (6-foot-3, 315 pounds, fourth season): The Ravens gave Jones, a former fifth-round pick, a second-round restricted free agent tender this offseason. The high tender shows their confidence in the emerging lineman, who came on strong near the end of last season. Jones played in every game last season, starting six, and finished the year with 47 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He’s known as a run stuffer, but showed pass-rushing ability and can play both end and tackle.

Pernell McPhee (6-3, 280, third season): McPhee is coming off an injury-filled sophomore season, and he’s looking to make a larger impact on the defense. He has toned up this offseason, and is expected to play more outside linebacker, although he is still officially listed as a defensive end. McPhee is a talented pass rusher, who could be used in passing situations to chase down quarterbacks.

DeAngelo Tyson (6-2, 310, second season): The seventh-round pick was a pleasant surprise his rookie season, as he proved to be a quality defender throughout the year. Tyson started two games and played in 10, and he finished the season with 11 tackles. He provided depth on the defensive front, especially at stopping the run. He can play multiple positions along the line, and is able to eat up blockers to allow the linebackers to make stops at the line of scrimmage.

Free Agent Acquisition

Chris Canty (6-7,317, ninth season): Canty came to Baltimore as part of the effort to strengthen the defensive line.  He drew rave reviews during his performance at offseason practices, and he has the versatility to play multiple spots along the line. He will likely move play both end and tackle. Canty is a good pass rusher, so he could capitalize on single blockers when pass rushers like Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil attract outside attention.

Rookies

Kapron Lewis-Moore (6-4, 300, sixth round): The Notre Dame product is working his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) he suffered in the National Championship game. He is still a ways off from making a full return to the field, and will likely start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Lewis-Moore hopes he’s able to play this season, but the Ravens are not rushing him back to the field.

Will Pericak (6-3, 296, undrafted): The Ravens signed Pericak as an undrafted prospect out of Colorado. He reportedly has one of the highest signing bonuses of any undrafted player by the team, which could be an indication that the Ravens like what they see in him. Pericak will have to stand out in order to carve out a role, as the competition is tight at the position.

Frontrunners

With the effort to overhaul the defensive front this offseason, the Ravens have plenty of competition at defensive end. Canty and Jones appear to be the two favorites, as both have starting experience and have proven to be quality players. 

Canty stood out during the mandatory minicamp, drawing positive reviews for his size and athletic play. Jones has the potential to have a breakout season, especially considering he’s playing for a contract as a restricted free agent. Canty is the longer, more athletic player, but Jones is a proven run stuffer than can outwork offensive linemen.

With the new faces on the roster, the Ravens have the flexibility to bring multiple looks up front and it’s likely that Canty and Jones with both be used heavily in the defensive rotation. Tyson and McPhee also figure to be in the mix, with Tyson suited for running situations and McPhee in passing downs.

The role for Lewis-Moore will depend on how quickly he returns from the knee injury, and Pericak will look to earn his way onto the roster with a strong performance during training camp.

 


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