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Is There An Eventual Terrell Suggs Replacement In The Draft?


Terrell Suggs isn't going anywhere soon, but even the 34-year-old linebacker has said on the back nine of his career.

The Ravens could use immediate pass* *rush help, especially after Elvis Dumervil's release, and could use a long-term solution for when Suggs leaves.

So in a draft loaded with pass-rush talent, is this the year the Ravens find Suggs' eventual replacement?

Three NFL draft analysts answered that question at the NFL Scouting Combine, and they gave three different names for who that player could be: UCLA's Takkarist McKinley, Temple's Hasaan Reddick and Michigan's Taco Charlton.

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah, a former Ravens scout, pointed to McKinley. He is the closest in size to Suggs at 6-foot-2, 255 pounds. That's an inch shorter and 10 pounds lighter than Suggs.

McKinley had a big senior year in which he notched 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and six pass breakups. He did it despite playing through a shoulder injury – much like Suggs did last season. McKinley still participated in the combine despite the injury, but had surgery soon after, and will miss much of the offseason.

McKinley is known for his burst and relentless motor on the field. He ran the 40-yard dash in a blistering 4.59 seconds for a man his size. McKinley ran track in high school and ran the 100-meter dash in 10.6 seconds, showing how explosive he can be.

"He is a fastball coming off the edge," Jeremiah said. "He took over and dominated some football games this year. UCLA didn't win games, but it wasn't because of their defense. He was big-time.

"I think he's a double-digit sack guy. I think if you envision somebody like [Oakland Raiders linebacker] Bruce Irvin, but a puffed-up version, a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger. [McKinley's] going to hold up better against the run."

It's interesting that Jeremiah mentioned Irvin, because another NFL Network analyst brought him up as well, even though Suggs seems to be in a different mold. Charles Davis pointed to Reddick when asked about a potential Suggs replacement, and also compared Reddick to Irvin.

Reddick is 6-foot-1, 237 pounds, which is considerably smaller than Suggs. Reddick was a star at the Senior Bowl and one of the combine's most impressive performers with a 4.52-second 40-yard dash and 36.5-inch vertical leap.

A key question with Reddick is what position he will play in the NFL. He was a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end in college, but will stand up in the pros. Is he big enough to hold the edge? Those questions about his position also dogged Irvin, who has proven them pointless with 29 sacks in five seasons.

"There's a guy that's becoming very intriguing to a lot of people, and that's Hasaan Reddick out of Temple," Davis said. "The reason I bring him into this conversation is we're really not sure about everything with him yet.

"With Terrell Suggs still coming back, if you can get the benefits of him and being around him and behind him for a while without having to be a full-time player, you might be able to develop [Reddick] along the way."

Lastly, ESPN's Todd MsShay pointed to the biggest prospect of the bunch in Charlton. Charlton stands in at 6-foot-6, 277 pounds, so he's much bigger than Suggs.

Like McKinley, Charlton broke out in his senior year after starting just three games as a junior. Charlton notched 9.5 sacks and had 13 tackles for loss. He ended the season on a tear with nine sacks in his final 10 games.

"I think probably the interesting player that not a lot of people are talking about right now is Taco Charlton from Michigan. He's a player that's a lot more explosive than people anticipate," McShay said.

"All over the field, good versus the run and keeps getting better as a player. Taco Charlton is a player I think in that mid first-round range who could wind up being a really good value."

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