The most intriguing battle in the 2015 camps was along the defensive line, with the wide receiver battle a close second. With Haloti Ngata moving on to Detroit, the Ravens presented an opportunity for their young defensive lineman to step up their game. While 2013 3rd rounder Brandon Williams is the only established starter, at nose tackle, the presumed starters next to him are 2014 2nd rounder Timmy Jernigan at DT and veteran Chris Canty at DE. Canty was brought back as a veteran presence after the trade of Ngata, since the 3rd year Williams was the most experienced player on the line.
The more intriguing battle though, is among the depth options behind them. The Ravens brought in 2015 3rd rounder Carl Davis, who has looked stellar through the early camps and the 1st preseason game. Beyond him though, the spots are up for grabs. 2014 4th rounder Brent Urban was considered a near lock to make the 53, but a torn biceps in training camp has put him out for a while, possibly for the entire season.
So the battle is now between a bunch of undrafted and late round players: Christo Bilukidi, DeAngelo Tyson, Kapron Lewis-Moore and Lawrence Guy. While Tyson has the most experience as a Raven, based on his contract and his stellar performance in the first preseason game, Guy is seeming to be closer to a lock than the others. While it is unknown how many defensive lineman will make the final roster, one of the last 2 or 3 spots is his to lose.
So who is Lawrence Guy?
Lawrence Guy is a 6"4 318 pound defensive lineman out of Arizona State. As a true freshman, he started 8 games and was named to several All-Freshman teams. After starting for another 2 years and totaling 122 tackles, 23 TFL, and 8 sacks for his career, he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 7th round of the 2011 draft. He spent his rookie year on IR for the Packers, and then was one of the final cuts in 2012, ending up on their practice squad.
The Colts snagged him off the Packers practice squad in mid October, and actually let him on the field. Guy had 21 tackles (15 solo) and 1 sack in 9 games, 2 of them starts. But the following season, the Colts cut him in the preseason. After bouncing between the Redskins practice squad, then back to the Colts roster a month later, Guy was cut again by the Colts a year after they originally signed him, and signed by the Chargers.
Guy spent the last 10 games of the 2013 season on the Chargers roster, but not playing much. He again made the roster in 2014, but was not utilized. After spending the first 3 weeks of the season with San Diego, Guy was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Ravens on, September 24. Here he received his best opportunity to date.
With injuries to both Timmy Jernigan and Chris Canty, Guy was given snaps almost immediately next to 2 of the better players in the league, Brandon Williams and Haloti Ngata. Known for his relentless motor and tireless work ethic, Guy was a solid piece for a stellar Ravens front 7. He played 200 snaps for the team (19.3%), 90 less than Jernigan and 64 less than Tyson, despite only being on the roster for 11 games.
The Ravens resigned him in the off-season to a 2 year, $2.3 million contract with a $500,000 signing bonus. This is a vote of confidence for the 25 year old, as he got more money than position-mate Bilukidi and special team aces like Albert McClellan and Anthony Levine. With one of the best performances in the first preseason game against the Saints, Guy is looking to be close to a lock to make the roster.
Guy overcame much on his journey to make an NFL team. He struggled in school due to undiagnosed ADHD and dyslexia which at one point relegated him exclusively to a special ed classroom. His journey was a long one, but he finished high school as the top rated football player in Nevada. After struggling early in college to get on track academically, Guy utilized all the accommodations he received and when he left early for the NFL, sported a 3.5 GPA. He went to the NFL despite the advice of those close to him, including family and his college coaches.
After falling into the 7th round despite being a projected mid-round pick, his career has been slow starting thus-far. But it appears that this was just another thing for him to overcome. Guy is on a team with great coaches and a tradition of great defenses. It appears his journey has brought him to a place where he can thrive, hopefully adding a happy ending to his already inspiring story. It is good to have Lawrence Guy in purple, lets hope he makes the most of his time here.