Jan 3, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs (55) celebrates with linebacker Daryl Smith (51) after an interception during an AFC wild card playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The Ravens defeated the Steelers 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Starters: Elvis Dumervil, Terrell Suggs
Backups: Courtney Upshaw, Darius Allen, Brennen Beyer, Za’Darius Smith
The Ravens are obviously confident in the ability of Dumervil and Suggs to continue their strong play in 2015, and why not? The two didn’t look any worse for wear last season as they dominated opposing offensive lines all season, racking up a combined 29 sacks and 98 tackles.
The loss of Pernell McPhee stings a little, but the Ravens are going to give edge setter Courtney Upshaw a shot at taking his place. It seems like a stretch since Upshaw only has three career sacks, but he has never been utilized in that role in his tenure with the Ravens. He also showed decent pass rushing prowess in college.
Behind those three are a group of unknowns. Smith was an outside ‘backer in college, but he will likely take over Upshaw’s role as a two down edge setter in 2015. He needs time to develop anyway, so he figures to play a rotational role no matter where he lines up.
Allen and Beyer are both undrafted free agents who are wildcards for the final roster. Both were productive in college. Allen recorded 34.5 sacks across 43 games, along with nine forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries, while Beyer racked up 7.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss across 49 games.
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