Defensive Line, Pass Rush Could Be Targeted Later in Draft

Left: HC John Harbaugh, Center: GM Eric DeCosta, Right: DOPP Joe Hortiz

It won't be a surprise if the Ravens select a wide receiver or cornerback with the 22nd pick in the draft.

However, what other positions will they address? Baltimore has just five picks in this year's draft – No. 22, No. 86 (third round), No. 124 (fourth round), No. 157 (fifth round) and No. 199 (sixth round). Here are some defensive linemen and pass rushers the Ravens may target on Day 2 or 3 of the draft:

Defensive Line

Calais Campbell's departure to Atlanta in free agency changes the look of Baltimore's defensive line. Campbell had 36 tackles, 14 quarterback hits and 5.5 sacks last season, and his leadership as one of the team's most respected voices will be missed.

The Ravens have a solid group of young defensive linemen that includes Justin Madubuike, Travis Jones and Broderick Washington, along with veterans Michael Pierce and Brent Urban. However, General Manager Eric DeCosta said drafting a defensive lineman was a possibility.

"There's no doubt," DeCosta said. "I mean, we like the group we have now. They've played well. They played well last year, I think they'll continue to play well. But we've also got to look at it from short-term [and] long-term, what the position is going to look like – the strength of the draft class.

"We think there are guys in the first three, four rounds that can come in and play well. And we've been fortunate; we've taken some mid-round guys in the last few years, the last four years, that have played well for us, [so] we're excited about that. Justin is a talented player. He's playing his best football. Broderick [is] a guy that's maximized his ability, one of the hardest workers we have on the team. He plays multiple spots. Travis is another guy. Already, he's here every day, I think, working out. We're excited about those guys. But it takes more than three or four guys to play and to win in the NFL. So, of course, we'll look at it."

Possible Day 2 and Day 3 defensive tackle prospects according to include Keondre Coburn of Texas; Colby Wooden (Auburn); Zacch Pickens (South Carolina); Jaqeulin Roy (LSU); and Nesta Jade Silvera (Arizona State).

Edge Rushers

The Ravens hope that young outside linebackers Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo blossom next year to join Tyus Bowser in the rotation. However, Justin Houston remains unsigned after leading the Ravens with 9.5 sacks last year, and the Ravens could be in the market for a pass rusher in the draft, perhaps earlier than most people expect.

In his four-round mock draft, Chad Reuter of has the Ravens taking a surprising choice in Round 1 – edge rusher Myles Murphy from Clemson.

"Murphy worked out for teams this week, showing he's moved past the hamstring issue that kept him from participating at the NFL Scouting Combine," Reuter wrote. "He compares favorably to Bud Dupree, who also went 22nd overall (to the Steelers in 2015)."

The odds are against the Ravens taking an edge rusher in the first round, but DeCosta wouldn't totally rule it out.

"Well, if Will Anderson Jr. is there, we're probably going to take him," joked DeCosta, referring to the Alabama edge rusher who is likely to be the first defensive player selected in the draft. "I would never want to say, 'No,' and then we take a guy. It just depends on the player [and] how good we think the player is going to be. If we think the player can be Terrell Suggs or Lawrence Taylor, we'll probably take the guy."

If the Ravens take an edge rusher in Round 3 or later, potential targets include Tavius Robinson (Mississippi), Andre Carter II (Army), Nick Herbig (Wisconsin), Yasir Abdullah (Louisville) and Thomas Incoom (Central Michigan).

Director of Player Personnel Joe Hortiz said there's a wide variety of talented outside linebackers to choose from.

"There are guys who can play in space and do more of the dropping and then certainly the edge setters and the pass rushers," Hortiz said. "Corners [are] another one. It's a good, deep class of corners. I think we'll be able to find some Day 3 prospects at those positions."

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