Defensive Line Update

By Yosef Masinter
Mar. 27, 2020

The Ravens allowed 4.4 yards per rushing attempt, in 2019. It was the worst mark in Ravens franchise history. The season climaxed with Derrick Henry running all over the Ravens as the Ravens lost at home in the divisional round. In the offseason, the Ravens have put time, energy, and money into their defensive line. They used the franchise tag on their best pass rusher, Matthew Judon. Judon is coming off of back to back good seasons, where he generated a lot of pass rush, including 16.5 sacks over that period.

The Ravens than traded for the Mayor of Sacksinville, Calais Campbell for a fifth-round draft pick. Going back to last summer, the Ravens had a promising backup kicker, Kaare Vedvik. The Ravens traded Vedvek to the Vikings in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round draft pick. The Ravens then traded a fifth-round pick for one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. There was a reason Campbell was so cheap. He was in the final year of his contract. After he was traded to Baltimore, he agreed to sign an extension that kept him in Baltimore through 2022.

The Ravens weren't done yet. They resigned Jihad Ward, and Justin Ellis, continuing in bolstering their defensive line. They then attempted to sign Michael Brockers in free agency. The Ravens had a deal in place, which just fell through, due to a suspect physical. Since the Brockers deal was in place, the Ravens didn't pursue Michael Pierce. Pierce has been an anchor for the Ravens defense, and he has been vital to the Ravens run defense. With him gone, the Ravens will be able to move Brandon Williams back to nose tackle. Williams moved out of nose tackle for Pierce, but he will be able to move back to a position that he is better at with the departure of Pierce. The Ravens also traded Chris Wormley to the Steelers for a 7th round draft pick.

The Ravens now have a little bit of cap room to work with. The best pass rusher in this year's free agents is still on the market. Jadaveon Clowney has yet to find a new team, and because of that, his price might have gone down. There are also a bunch of other options for replacing Pierce including Shelby Harris, Everson Griffen, and Markus Golden. The Ravens will go after one more player to complete their defensive line. Its been a long time since the Ravens have had cap space, and they are using it on their defensive line.