The Baltimore Ravens made huge news today. They traded a fifth round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Calais Campbell. Here are three big things to think about this trade:
1. Hello interior pass rush:
The biggest thing the Baltimore Ravens needed to do was improve their ability to rush the passer. Calais Campbell allows the purple and black to get some pass rush from the defensive end position. The Ravens just traded for a player who just came off his fifth Pro Bowl and has 88 career sacks on his resume. Campbell had 6.5 sacks in 2019. In 2017 he had 14.5 sacks and in 2018 he had 10.5. Campbell is a disruptive player who can help the Ravens be dominant against the run as well. He’s a 6’8″ freak of nature athletically. This is a big time move and it gives the purple and black they absolutely needed.
I’ve been hammering away at this ever since the Tennessee Titans put an end to Baltimore’s football season. Last month I wrote an article discussing the Ravens top needs this offseason. I listed interior pass rush as the top need. Here is a refresher of my point from that article:
“The Ravens couldn’t get pass rushers without blitzing. While the outside linebacker play has to be improved, it starts with the defensive line. If the Ravens had defensive ends who factored in more as pass rushers, life would be easier for the edge rushers. The Ravens have no interior pass rusher. Don Martindale had to create pressure, he couldn’t get it with a five man rush. Imagine how much fun the defense could have if Martindale didn’t have to waste all his creativity just to get a standard, half-decent pass rush.”
The Ravens are a better football team than they were yesterday. Campbell is going to be a difference maker for the defense. If the Ravens can add an inside linebacker and get just a bit better on the edge, the defense will be complete. Campbell will make life easier for the outside linebackers. He will also make Brandon Williams a much more imposing force; You can’t double team Campbell and than do the same to Williams. This has a chance to make Williams a Pro Bowl caliber player again. Campbell completes the defensive line. The secondary is set. Now Eric DeCosta must address the linebacker positions.