The Ravens dipped into the defensive talent pool for the second time Saturday afternoon.
After taking four-straight offensive players to open the draft, the Ravens selected Alabama cornerback Anthony Averett (pick No. 118) and then UCLA linebacker Kenny Young (No. 122) with a pair of fourth-round picks.
Young, 6-foot-1 and 236 pounds, is a speedy inside linebacker who is known for his ability to run with tight ends and running backs. He shined in the pre-draft process, particularly during his week at the East-West Shrine game.
“His speed is what separated Kenny Young,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said about watching Young at the East-West game.
Young was a first-team All-Pac 12 selection last year when he led the Bruins with 110 tackles, while also adding a sack and three passes defensed. The New Orleans native was a highly recruited player out of high school and was ranked as one of the nation’s top-10 linebacker prospects.
“I love that type of defense that they have,” Young said. “What I bring to the table, as far as character-wise, my speed, my tackling, my discipline, I think we can get something very special done.”
He grew up near former Ravens safety Ed Reed, and his father knows Reed well. He joked that his dad helped show Reed the ropes back during their high school days.
Young was well versed in his Ravens history. He discussed idolizing Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis and talked excitedly about joining Pro Bowl linebackers C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs.
“You have great guys,” Young said. “I want to soak up all of the knowledge Terrell Suggs has. Teach me the way you do it.”
He will compete for the linebacker spot next to Mosley. Patrick Onwuasor started at that WILL linebacker spot last year after beating out Kamalei Correa in training camp, and versatile veteran Anthony Levine also worked there in some passing situations.