Kamalei Correa: A move back to outside linebacker key to redemption


It’s no secret that Kamalei Correa has been nothing short of a bust in his brief stint in the NFL. But maybe a move back to outside linebacker will rejuvenate his career.

Flash back to April 29th, 2016: It’s day two of the NFL Draft and the Ravens trade back twice and select Boise State’s Kamalei Correa with the 42nd overall pick. It was a pick that left many fans scratching their heads. Even at the time, Correa had no idea Baltimore was interested. To add insult to injury, the Ravens traded out of selecting Jaguars stud linebacker Myles Jack. Yikes.

The 6’3″ 241-lbs. linebacker just didn’t seem like an ideal scheme fit. Those fears have since come to a reality, as Correa can’t seem to find his way onto the field in any way. Correa has just 19 career tackles and zero sacks to his name. To call Kamalei Correa a disappointment thus far would be an understatement.

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No, in fact, he’s been one of the biggest busts for the Ravens over the last decade. Correa has put himself in infamy among the likes of Breshad Perriman (shutters), Maxx Williams, and Matt Elam. With how talented the defense is, Correa straight up may be out of a job in Charm City.

But, maybe there is hope yet for a career redemption for Kamalei Correa.

Fitting in the defense:

It was reported yesterday that Correa is taking snaps at outside linebacker, the position he played during his time at Boise State. This is extremely ideal to get Correa comfortable with the defense and learn, since he’d share the field with guys like Terrell Suggs. We know that Don Martindale is interested in unleashing the defense in 2018. This means big years for a lot of guys, maybe Correa can be a big part in that, too.

The former Bronco was a sack master back in Boise, with 20.0 career sacks in his three seasons spent. Correa’s build is good enough to set him up for success off the edge, now he just needs technique.

Teaching Correa pass rushing moves will be the most essential part to a career redemption in Baltimore. Moving him back to outside linebacker is a huge step in the right direction. However, to get the most out of him, sub-packages is the best start.

No one is asking Kamalei Correa to start game one in 2018. Frankly, he doesn’t need to start any games in 2018. What Correa needs is to get into a situational role. Baltimore needs to find a way to get him comfortable in this defense, use his strengths to the defense’s advantage.

Bottom line:

No one likes labeling guys as busts. In fact, it’s a terrible habit that we as fans often do. Really, we shouldn’t label anyone a “bust” before they have finished three seasons in the league. By that point in time, we should have an idea as to whether or not they’ve lived up to their billing.

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That simply means that it’s 2018-or-bust for Kamalei Correa. But, this could be his potential last “hurrah” for the Ravens. And honestly, he might not even make the roster. This is a very competitive off-season for Baltimore.

But, if Correa does want a shot at the roster, he’s gotta step up. Training camp will be vital for him in 2018; perhaps more than anyone else on this roster. Here’s hoping Correa sheds the “bust” label and finally lives up to his potential.