The Competition: Inside Linebackers

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Returning Players

Daryl Smith (6-foot-2, 250 pounds, 12th season)
C.J. Mosley (6-2, 235, 2nd season)
Arthur Brown (6-0, 235, 3rd season)
Zachary Orr (6-0, 237, 2nd season)
Albert McClellan (6-2, 248, 5th season)

Rookies

Andrew Bose (6-2, 232, undrafted)

Projected Starters

The top of the depth chart is pretty clear cut at inside linebacker. Smith has played almost every defensive snap the last two years and Mosley finished second in NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. Mosley didn't practice this offseason as he recovered from wrist surgery, but he's expected to be full strength for training camp. As long as Smith and Mosley are healthy, there is little question that they'll be in the lineup.

Key Role Players

While they may not be in the starting lineup, the Ravens still expect contributions from McClellan, Orr and Brown. McClellan and Orr have established themselves as two of the team's top special teamers, and they will likely be in that role again. Brown, a former second-round pick, is entering a critical season. He played just four games last year and didn't take a single defensive snap, and his way onto the field may have to come on special teams. The coaching staff praised Brown for his development this offseason, and he will have to continue to show improvement when the pads come on during training camp.

Most Anticipated Battle

An under-the-radar battle to watch in training camp is for the backup job behind Mosley and Smith. Brown is the natural fit there, but by the end of the offseason practices Orr was taking reps ahead of him. Orr surprised people by making the team as an undrafted rookie last season, and he could keep up that streak if he beats out Brown for the No. 2 job.

 

The top of the depth chart is set with Daryl Smith and C.J. Mosley, but competition behind them is tight.

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