Could Albert McClellan Move To Inside Linebacker?


The Ravens have a big hole in the middle of their defense.

With the retirement of Ray Lewis, departure of Dannell Ellerbe and uncertain health status of Jameel McClain, the Ravens could be without their three top inside linebackers from last season.

To fill the void, one option currently on the roster is Albert McClellan.

"Albert's a flexible guy," Head Coach John Harbaugh said this week at the NFL owners meetings. "Albert can play inside, so, to me, Albert's a little bit of a swing guy."

McClellan, a former undrafted free agent out of Marshall, has played both inside and outside linebacker during his three seasons with the Ravens. He was primarily an outside linebacker last season, but moved inside when the Ravens were hobbled with injuries. He also played some inside linebacker in 2011 when Lewis went down with a toe injury.

McClellan started 12 games at outside linebacker and finished the year with 42 tackles, one sack and two fumble recoveries.

The Ravens like the versatility that he brings to the table, but the preferred approach is to keep him from having to move between the two spots.

"What I'd like to be able to do with Albert is get him at a position from Day One and leave him there if possible," Harbaugh said.

In addition to McClain, who is working his way back from a spinal cord injury, the other inside linebackers on the roster are Brendon Ayanbadejo and Josh Bynes. The current outside linebackers are Terrell Suggs, Courtney Upshaw and Adrian Hamilton.

The Ravens are expected to take an inside linebacker or pass rusher in the draft – or both – and Harbaugh indicated they will ultimately determine McClellan's position based on the players they add to the roster.

"If the draft turns out to be outside backer-heavy, Albert goes inside," Harbaugh said. "If we pick up some inside linebackers, then Albert can go back outside. Right now, my guess is he'll be inside based on the roster as it stands, so we'll just have to see."

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