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Ravens Giving Kamalei Correa A Look At Inside Linebacker


The Ravens are grooming another option for the inside linebacker vacancy next to C.J. Mosley.

Second-round pick Kamalei Correa is listed as an outside linebacker, but the Ravens want to see their 6-foot-3, 245-pound prospect play all the linebacker positions.

Correa spent some time lined up inside of linebackers Za'Darius Smith and Albert McClellan during last Thursday's open Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice.

"I think 'K.C.' has inside linebacker traits," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He played it in college quite a bit. They moved him around at Boise [State]. The more he can do the better, and we're definitely going to look at him."

The Ravens have been adamant this offseason that they want more pass rush from their defense after notching just 37 sacks last year, down from 49 in 2014.

By adding Correa in the second round, Matt Judon in the fifth round and Victor Ochi as an undrafted free agent, the Ravens majorly boosted their outside linebacker corps. But once Terrell Suggs (Achilles) and Elvis Dumervil are on the field, there's not much room for the new blood to get snaps.

The Ravens could still use Zachary Orr, Arthur Brown or McClellan at inside linebacker. However, using Correa as an inside linebacker helps put more pass rushers on the field. The Ravens could use him in a situational role both outside and inside.

"We'll look at different guys at different spots for sure," Harbaugh said.

Part of the reason why the Ravens drafted Correa is because he offers versatility. When Correa moved all over the defense during his final junior season, he led the team with seven sacks and 11 tackles for loss.

In order to be an inside linebacker, Correa needs to show that he can hold his ground against the run and the pass. He'll have to be more than an edge setter and rusher.

During the first week of OTAs, Correa showed an ability to do both. He filled one gap nicely for what would have been a stop in the backfield. In one practice, he intercepted quarterback Ryan Mallett with a leaping catch while dropping in zone coverage.

Correa said he didn't do a lot of pass coverage in college, and that Ravens coaches are working on his feet and hips. It's the area where he admits he needs the most work.

Mostly, Correa said he's still figuring out all the defensive checks when adjustments to shifts that the offense makes. And, of course, there's catching up to the NFL game speed.

"I'm slowly adjusting," Correa said. "C.J. Mosley, Arthur Brown, Albert McClellan and all the safeties have been helping me out with our coverages and where I'm going. … It's a different feel out there [with the veterans]."

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