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The Competition 2018: Inside Linebacker

Returning Players

Albert McClellan (eighth season)
C.J. Mosley (fifth season)
Patrick Onwuasor (third season)
Kamalei Correa (third season)
Bam Bradley (second season)

Free-Agent Signings

None

Rookies

Kenny Young (fourth round)
Alvin Jones (undrafted)
Myles Humphrey (undrafted)

Projected Starters

Mosley, who has gone to three Pro Bowls in his four NFL seasons, will anchor the middle of the unit and be the man calling out the defense. Mosley has been consistently superb and is coming off 132 tackles last season, just one shy of his rookie mark. He improved his pass coverage last season, but his strength is still directing his teammates and making plays near the line of scrimmage.

The spot next to Mosley is again open to competition. Patrick Onwuasor, who started 13 games last year, is the clear favorite, but he’ll be pushed. Onwuasor flashed last season with 90 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. The converted undrafted safety can move well and is good dropping into coverage. He’s added some bulk this offseason to hold up better versus the run, and he made a number of plays in the offensive backfield during this summer’s practices.

Key Role Players

McClellan has seen a lot of football and can play any linebacker position the Ravens need. However, he’s coming off a season-ending ACL injury and is now 32 years old. The special teams captain is beloved for his attitude and leadership, especially with young players.

Bradley impressed his coaches last year and was a contender for the starting job before he tore his ACL in Week 2. The Ravens are being patient with his return, but he could make a run at a big role during training camp and, at least, contribute on sub-packages and special teams.

It remains to be seen how much action the Ravens will give Young, who has been one of the most impressive rookie draft picks thus far. Young is all over the field and has a nose for the football. The UCLA product could be inserted in passing situations given his athleticism.

Most Anticipated Battle

McClellan has been an integral part of the team for a long time, but he’s going to have to fend off younger, healthier options at his position. The way the kickoff rules have changed also doesn’t help a bulked-up player like McClellan. Correa has primarily moved to outside linebacker, but if he’s going to make the team, he has to show that he’s position flexible and can contribute inside if needed. Bradley will need to show that he’s healthy and can pick up where he left off.

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