"The Competition" is a series that breaks down every position battle leading up to training camp. Below are the defensive ends:
Chris Canty (6-foot-7, 332 pounds, 11th season)
DeAngelo Tyson (6-2, 315, 4th season)
Christo Bilukidi (6-5, 320, 4th season)
Kapron Lewis-Moore (6-4, 310, 3rd season)
Brent Urban (6-7, 295, 2nd season)
Zach Thompson (6-5, 265, 1st season)
Brennen Beyer (6-3, 266, undrafted)
Canty is the 11-year veteran leader of the group, entering his third season in Baltimore. The Ravens initially cut him this offseason to save salary-cap room, but then re-signed him just a couple weeks later. Canty made it clear at mandatory minicamp that he expects to retain his starting job in 2015, saying, "I've been a starterin this league for a decade. I don't really see that changing." While Canty expects to remain in the starting lineup, he will have plenty of competition for playing time from young players like Lewis-Moore and Urban.
Key Role Players
The Ravens are loaded with young talent on the defensive front, and the coaching staff will look for creative ways to get a good mix of players on the field. After suffering season-ending injuries during training camp last year, Urban and Lewis-Moore are now eager to get on the field for their first NFL action. Tyson has established himself as a reliable defender who can stuff the run and provide some pass rush, and he will likely continue in that role. Bilukidi has imposing size as a run stuffer on early downs, but an ankle injury shortened his season last year.
Most Anticipated Battle
Urban and Lewis-Moore are the players to watch in training camp. Both of them have high ceilings if they can stay healthy. Lewis-Moore is going into his third season and has yet to play a regular-season snap. He tore his ACL in the final game of his college career and then tore his Achilles in training camp last season. Urban suffered a torn ACL at about the same time. They both returned to full strength for the offseason practices and reminded people why coaches were so excited about them. They will challenge Canty for snaps, and the Ravens will find a way to get them involved if they live up to their expectations.
Chris Canty says he has no plans to give up his starting job going into his 11th season.