Ravens OTA Depth Chart Analysis: Defensive Line
With the Baltimore Ravens Organized Team Activities fully underway, I will be going through the Ravens position by position breaking down the depth and the competition. I will be categorizing players into one of three spots; locks to make the team, bubble players, and longshots.
Locks: Brandon Williams(6th), Michael Pierce(3rd), Willie Henry(3rd), Carl Davis(4th), Brent Urban(5th)
The dynamic duo of Williams and Pierce return to make offensive lines miserable. It is unnatural for such giants to have so much lateral quickness and downfield speed. Pierce is on track to be one of the greatest UFA finds in Ravens history, which is quite an accomplishment. And we all remember how hard it was for the Ravens to stop the run without Brandon last year.
Davis and Henry made tremendous strides last year to become starters. Henry became a dominant press rusher and Davis excelled against the run. Urban is an absolute beast. He is a disrupter during pass plays and uses his long arms against the run to shut down backs. He is the perfect defensive end for the Ravens scheme and would have priced himself out of Baltimore if not for injuries. The Ravens were able to resign him on a minimum and if the Canadian can stay on the field he will be a star.
Bubble: Chris Wormley(2nd), Bronson Kaufusi(3rd), Zach Sieler(R)
Its possible, all or none, of these guys make the team. Wormley had a quiet rookie campaign and will look to back up Urban at 5-technique end. Kaufusi has had an interesting career. After the 3rd rounder broke his leg in his rookie campaign, he was not able to contribute last season and even got called out by John Harbaugh for a lack of physicality. Unlikely for the Ravens to cut a 3rd rounder so quickly but game day inactive are probably in his future. Zack will learn from the vets and might get sent to practice squad, if the Ravens feel like that he won’t make it past waivers than maybe an “injury” will get him on the IR.
Long shots: Da’Sean Downey(R), Myles Humphrey(R), Christian LaCouture(R)
Humphrey can be a good project.
The Ravens have a complicated defensive scheme, but the Ravens base defense features a nose tackle (Williams/Pierce), a defensive tackle(Henry/Davis), and a 5-technique end(Urban/Wormley) (Bonus fact: part of what made Haloti Ngata so good is that he would play all three spots for the Ravens during his tenure). The Ravens D-line gets switched up a lot depending on the situation and for all the flack Dean Pees gets, he was very good at placing lineman in a good position to succeed.