The Ravens are coming off a season where they ranked second in the NFL in total sacks (49).
They already have top edge rushers in Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, but Owner Steve Bisciotti said earlier this month that he still liked the idea of taking a pass rusher with the No. 26 pick. Baltimore is looking to replace outside linebacker Pernell McPhee who signed a big deal with Chicago in free agency, and the draft could provide some talented options.
Here are five pass rushers who may make sense in Baltimore:
Randy Gregory, NebraskaJunior, 6-foot-6, 240 pounds 2014 Stats:54 tackles, 7 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumbleProjected Round:1st
Scouting Report:Gregory is a true fit as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive scheme like the Ravens use. Despite dealing with a knee injury last year that held him out of two games, Gregory still led Nebraska in sacks last season. Gregory is one of the draft's top pass rushers, but his stock took a hit when he failed a drug test at the combine. The Ravens have done their due diligence on Gregory's background, which includes bringing him to Baltimore for a pre-draft visit.
Why He Makes Sense:Gregory has the talent to be a top-10 pick, which would make him a steal at the end of the first round. Gregory could make an immediate impact as a pass-rush specialist behind Suggs and Dumervil, and he would also still have time to develop his raw talent to eventually move into a starting role.
Alvin 'Bud' Dupree, KentuckySenior, 6-foot-4, 264 pounds
2014 Stats:74 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 1 interception, 1 touchdown, 2 forced fumbles
Scouting Report:Dupree is an explosive pass rusher with a knack for getting after the quarterback. He racked up 23.5 sacks during his college career. Ravens Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta compared him to former Raven Adalius Thomas. Draft experts say Dupree is still somewhat raw in his pass-rushing ability, which may lead to some teams passing on him.
Why He Makes Sense:Dupree has a high ceiling as a pass rusher. His 23.5 sacks were the most of any active SEC player, and draft pundits believe that his best football is well ahead of him. He also has the potential to be a top-10 pick, giving the Ravens a steal at the end of the first round.
Shane Ray, MissouriJunior, 6-foot-3, 245 pounds
2014 Stats:65 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles
Projected Round:1st-Early 2nd
Scouting Report:Ray was a dominant pass rusher at Missouri and he's known for his tenacity in getting after the quarterback. He caught the attention of Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh, who said he was impressed by Ray's motor. The knock on Ray, however, is that his size makes him a "tweener" at the NFL level. He doesn't have great length, which teams value in edge rushers, and that could hurt his sock.
Why He Makes Sense:At the start of the pre-draft process, Ray was considered by most accounts to be a lock as a first-round pick. His size and the injury concerns may have put his first-round status in jeopardy, but that puts him into the mold of a tremendous value player at the end of the first round.
Jordan Hicks, TexasSenior, 6-foot-1, 234 pounds
2014 Stats:107 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 interceptions,
Scouting Report:Hicks is coming off a highly productive senior season at Texas where he thrived in a starting role. He was a relatively under-the-radar prospect coming into the season, but his production earned him an invite to the Senior Bowl where he helped his draft stock. Hicks is a smart player who the coaching staff raved about at Texas. A concern with him is that he's been prone to injuries and that limited his time on the field earlier in his career.
Why He Makes Sense:Hicks fits the mold of a hard-working player that the Ravens seek in the draft. He showed that he can produce when he stays healthy, and that would make him a versatile player. The Ravens want mid-round picks who can make a difference on special teams, and Hicks has the ability to do that.
Martrell Spaight, ArkansasSenior, 6-foot-2, 231 pounds
2014 Stats:128 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception
Scouting Report:Spagith is an undersized outside linebacker who had a breakout year during his senior season at Arkansas. He's a later bloomer who started his career at junior college, but his big senior year earned him an invitation to the Senior Bowl where he caught the attention of some NFL scouts.
Why He Makes Sense:The Ravens just lost a former late blooming SEC defender in McPhee, and Spaight could be a solid mid-round replacement. He likely wouldn't provide the immediate production on defense, but he could make special teams contributions and find his way into the lineup in sub packages.