2013 NFL Season: McPhee To Play OLB Next Year


Jan 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive end Pernell McPhee (90) during the third quarter of the AFC divisional round playoff game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field. The Ravens won 38-35 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

One of the more interesting players on the Ravens roster for the 2013 season is Pernell McPhee. The Ravens have invested a lot of money into their defensive line, so much so that Pernell McPhee probably is a third option at DE now. Unfortunately, Pernell is way too talented to be that far down the depth chart.

In That light, it appears the Ravens higher ups are planning for McPhee to play mostly at OLB this year in relief of Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. McPhee will probably have to lose a few pounds to fill fill that role, but he certainly has the skill-set to do it. In fact, I believe he will be even more productive as a pass rusher standing up than he was with his hand in the dirt.

This doesnt give McPhee a starting role, but if last year taught us anything it was that McPhee is better off as a situational player than an every down guy anyway. That gives the Ravens more flexibility with Courtney Upshaw as well. There has been quite a bit of rumblings that Upshaw will be moved to playing predominantly inside linebacker, something the Ravens might need even more with McClain likely to be cut thanks to another arrest last night. With McPhee outside, the Ravens have a three man rotation to fill two positions, and Upshaw can still be split out if necessary.

Flexibility is the most under-rated trait in professional sports, by moving McPhee to OLB, the Ravens gain more of it.