Ravens: 3 pass-rushing prospects who can be Day 1 starters

Jermaine Johnson II #11 of the Florida State Seminoles. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Jermaine Johnson II #11 of the Florida State Seminoles. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /
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George Karlaftis #5 of the Purdue Boilermakers. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

3. George Karlaftis

George Karlaftis has landed on the Ravens in more than a few mocks, and it’s not hard to see why.

The Purdue product has been described as “the best power rusher in this year’s class,” though he arguably fits better in a 4-3 defense. Karlaftis has incredible raw power and plays with ” more nuanced counters, precision striking, and a strong sense and feel for running the arc.”

His run defense has much room for improvement, but his pound-for-pound dominance on the edge suggests Karlaftis can come rushing out of the gate from the first day. Karlaftis’ freshman year marked his best collegiate season when he recorded 54 tackles, 7.5 sacks, one interception, and two pass breakups in 12 starts.

Since then, he’s only developed his skills and added more pass-rushing moves to his arsenal — take a look for yourself.

What sets Karlaftis apart from others isn’t just his sheer power or muscular frame, but it’s his ability to consistently stay square and never run too far upfield in his rush. Against more mobile signal-callers, Karlaftis can shine the most as his freakish speed and size comes into play and he prevents even the most agile players from escaping the pocket.

Karlaftis himself has said he would “love to be a Raven,” so clearly, the interest is mutual. As a likely first-round prospect, Karlaftis could benefit Baltimore in Year 1, and the Ravens should rejoice if he’s still available at pick No. 14.