Skip to main content

What Are Ravens Looking For In A Pass Rusher?


Pass rushers come in all shapes and sizes.

The Ravens have already said they want to add another player this offseason who can harass opposing quarterbacks, and they could end up using their No. 6 overall draft pick to satisfy that need.

So what exactly do the Ravens want in that player?

"There are different ways to get home," Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said. "The ultimate thing when you look at a pass rusher is: Do they get home? Can they finish?"

The Ravens scouts will be keeping a close eye on those skills this week as they descend on Indianapolis for the NFL's annual combine.

As the Ravens assess the incoming crop of pass rushers, they know players have different ways to find their way to quarterbacks. Baltimore's pass rushing duo of Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil is proof of that already.

"We have different ones on our team," Hortiz said. "[Dumervil], he's strong, but he wins with his burst, and his quickness, and his suddenness and his ability to close. Suggs is a guy that powers through. He's going to win the edges and he's going to go through the man."

Players who are the complete package of power and speed often come off the board in the first 10 picks, and the Ravens could have a chance to get that kind of player this year. Pass rusher has been a popular mock draft projection for the Ravens in the early part of the pre-draft process, and General Manager Ozzie Newsome could have a few options to pick from when he gets on the clock in April.

The top pass rusher in the class is widely considered to be Ohio State's Joey Bosa. The 6-foot-6, 275-pound defender is an imposing physical talent who can run through tight ends and even overpower some offensive tackles.

He also has big college production with 26 sacks and 51 tackles for loss in his three college seasons.

"Guys that sack quarterbacks in college, they're probably going to sack guys in the NFL," Hortiz said.

Clemson's Shaq Lawson (6-3, 270 pounds) is another big-bodied defender who can get after quarterbacks and could be available with the No. 6 pick. He had 20 sacks in his college career.

Oregon's DeForest Buckner (6-7, 300) is even bigger than Lawson and Bosa, and he plays defensive line rather than edge rusher. But he can also chase down quarterbacks, proven by his 18 college sacks. While Bosa and Lawson are more likely to find their path to the quarterback around the edge, Buckner can go right through the middle of an offensive line.

The other pass rusher who seems to be rapidly ascending draft boards is Noah Spence out of Eastern Kentucky.  The 6-foot-3, 252-pound defender is much different than Bosa, Lawson and Bucker in body type, and he is the true outside rusher. He picked up 11.5 sacks last year at Eastern Kentucky after 8.5 the previous year at Ohio State.

Spence has speed to get around tackles, and he put that on display at the Senior Bowl last month. Spence is considered a likely top-15 pick after his showing at the Senior Bowl, and the sack artist is an intriguing option for Baltimore.

"They're going to do it in different ways," Hortiz said about the pass rushers. "But the important thing is that they have the ability to finish at the top of the rush. They can close on the quarterback."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content