Should Ravens Pursue Veteran Edge Rusher Carlos Dunlap?
While it wouldn't be surprising if the Ravens re-signed Justin Houston to bolster their pass rush, there's another veteran outside linebacker on the free-agent market who could be a good fit, and it's a player the team is quite familiar with.
Carlos Dunlap, who played in the AFC North from 2010-2020 with the Cincinnati Bengals, should be on Baltimore's radar, Heavy.com contended.
"[Dunlap] proved last season he's still highly productive, despite being in the winter of his career," Heavy.com wrote. "Putting Dunlap back into familiar surroundings would give Defensive Coordinator Mike [Macdonald] a roving pass-rusher who fits his scheme and still generates pressure at a prodigious rate. Those things have got to be worth at least a one-year deal on favorable terms."
The 33-year-old Dunlap, who went to the Pro Bowl in 2015 and 2016, had 8.5 sacks with the Seattle Seahawks last season. He finished the season strong, recording seven sacks over the final four games. In 2020, Dunlap had five sacks in eight games with the Seahawks after being traded from the Bengals.
In addition to his production, Dunlap has been durable. He has played in every game in seven of his past nine seasons, including last year.
"Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll likes to use versatile edge rushers who can attack from either side of the formation. They can also rush from a standup position or a three-point stance," Heavy.com wrote. "It's a hybrid role Dunlap knows well, and one sure to fit the Ravens, who still operate a multiple defense that mixes 3-4 and 4-3 fronts. Dunlap would be an excellent fit, not least because of how he'd settle concerns about injuries in the Baltimore pass-rush department."
Ravens outside linebackers Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo are recovering from Achilles surgeries, and Odafe Oweh underwent offseason shoulder surgery. Oweh is back on the field at OTAs.
The Ravens reportedly were interested in Dunlap last offseason before he re-signed with the Seahawks.
'No Downswing in Sight' for Calais Campbell
Speaking of veterans who continue to be productive players, Calais Campbell was ranked among the top 15 interior defenders in the league by Pro Football Focus’ Ben Linsey.
Campbell, who re-signed with the Ravens in April, was Baltimore's highest-graded defensive player by PFF last season and was a key reason why Baltimore finished the year as the league's top run defense.
"Campbell may be nearing 36 years old, but there's no downswing in sight," Linsey wrote. "Over the past two seasons in Baltimore, he has graded out in the 85th percentile of all players in PFF pass-rushing grade and the 97th percentile in PFF run-defense grade on a per-snap basis. He's been one of the more consistent run defenders in the NFL over the past few years, regardless of position."
Justin Tucker Named a Leading Candidate to Repeat As All-Decade Team Member
Justin Tucker was a unanimous selection to the NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team, and Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer believes there's a strong chance the Ravens kicker will make the 2020s team.
"He was second-team All-Pro in 2020, and first-team last year, is 32 (young for a specialist), and still widely considered the game's best kicker," Breer wrote.
Breer noted that 26 players and two coaches have made the NFL's all-decade team twice since the 1960s.