Ravens hosted possible Jadeveon Clowney replacement for official visit

Will the Ravens draft this edge rusher on Day 2
NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens may have brought back veteran pass rusher Kyle Van Noy on a two-year contract, but the defense as a whole will likely take a step back this season after losing standout veteran Jadeveon Clowney and his 9.5 sacks. Clowney signed a two-year deal with his hometown Carolina Panthers.

While the Ravens are counting on big things from former Top 50 picks Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo as they enter make-or-break seasons, it will be hard to imagine either of them making up for what Clowney brought to the table. Baltimore could always look to the NFL Draft for more reinforcements, especially if they have impressive tools.

Kansas defensive Austin Booker has been rising up draft boards lately, so much so that it seems unlikely he will make it out of the first four rounds. Booker needs to go to a team who is willing to be patient with his skills.

The Ravens are one of a handful of teams who have hosted Booker for a pre-draft visit. The Ravens have traditionally been quite willing to eschew college production in favor of athletic traits (see Oweh) in the Draft, and Booker might be their next toolsy prospect to take a chance on.

Baltimore Ravens hosted Kansas EDGE Austin Booker for NFL Draft visit

Booker is one of the more raw prospects at any position in this draft class, as the former Minnesota transfer has just 505 snaps of experience at the college level and one year of starting experience. The 6-6, 245-pound Booker did manage to pile up 56 tackles, eight sacks, and two forced fumbles during his lone year with the Jayhawks.

Booker shoots off the line like a bat out of hell when he times the snap right, and he possesses tremendous functional power that can disrupt even the most effective of pass blockers. With experience as both a stand-up rush linebacker and a defensive end with his hand in the dirt, Booker is more versatile than his profile would suggest.

The Ravens drafting an edge rusher could be a worthwhile strategy, as they have enough impactful players around Booker to slowly ease him into the professional game. He may not provide value as a rookie, but his tools are clearly worth developing.