"The Competition" is a series that breaks down every position battle leading up to training camp.
Arthur Brown (6-foot-0, 240 pounds, fourth season)
Albert McClellan (6-2, 254, sixth season)
C.J. Mosley (6-2, 235, third season)
Zachary Orr (6-0, 255, third season)
Kamalei Correa (6-3, 245)
Cavellis Luckett (5-11, 238)
Patrick Onwuasor (6-0, 213)
Mosley is the sure bet in the starting lineup. The third-year player might be the Ravens' best defender, and he's one of the league's top emerging young linebackers. The biggest change for Mosley is that for the first time in his career he won't have veteran Daryl Smith lined up next to him. The Ravens cut Smith this offseason, and now Mosley is the clear leader of the group. Smith's departure means the Ravens have a starting job up for grabs, and Brown, Orr, Correa and McClellan all have their eyes on it.
Key Role Players
The Ravens are thin at this position. They have kept five inside linebackers on the 53-man squad the last two years, and they currently have seven on the 90-man roster. That leaves an opportunity for undrafted rookies Luckett or Onwuasor to play their way onto the team in training camp. Also, the Ravens might end up using a rotation of linebackers next to Mosley based on matchups and situations.
Most Anticipated Battle
The competition for the open starting job will be one of the top battles to watch over the summer. There doesn't appear to be a clear front-runner for the spot, and the Ravens want to see who separates from the pack. Brown is a former second-round pick who is at a critical point of his career as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. He's been stuck behind Smith the last few years, and now he's "itching to get out there and be able to showcase and contribute to the team on a defensive level." The Ravens won't simply hand the job over to Brown, and Orr has defied the odds the last two seasons. He first made the team as an undrafted rookie and then proved himself on special teams. Orr took a bulk of the reps with the first-team defense during offseason practices and made it clear he's "shooting for a starting spot." Correa is the wild card of the group. He primarily played outside linebacker in college, but the Ravens like his versatility and gave him reps inside during offseason practices. He is still officially listed as an outside linebacker, but potentially moving him inside is something to watch in the preseason.