With Terrell Suggs now out with an achilles injury, the Ravens defense will need to fill the void. The team signed veteran Jason Babin to add to the rotation, but at 35, he likely will not be taking the majority of the void. Courtney Upshaw and Elvis Dumervil will both be on the field more, as will rookie OLB Za'Darius Smith. Upshaw grades very highly as a run stopper, which has enabled the Ravens to keep Dumervil fresh as a pass rush specialist. While this was a wonderful luxury to have over the past two seasons, the Ravens now will have to count on both players more.
With that said, the narrative of Elvis Dumervil being a bad run stopper is patently false. Although he is not an upper tier run stopper like Upshaw or Suggs, Dumervil was a 3 down defensive end for the Broncos until 2012, when he jumped to the Ravens following faxgate. Dumervil graded slightly above average while in Denver, and although the role is a little different as a 4-3 DE, Dumervil definitely has the ability to play the run.
The bigger issue is keeping him fresh. Dumervil played 580 snaps last year, or 56%. Suggs played 820 snaps (79.3%) and Upshaw played 497 (48%). The team already is replacing Pernell Mcphee (489 snaps, 47.2%), who defected to the Bears.
My expectation is that Dumervil will end up with a 10-15% increase, up to 65-70%. It is a good thing Upshaw showed up to camp in shape this year, because I think he ends up taking a nice 15-20% jump up to 60-65%. This will leave 65-75% of the snaps to be divided between new addition Jason Babin, rookie Za'Darius Smith, and vet Albert McClellan. Plus any snaps taken by Upshaw or Smith playing on the DL, a role Upshaw and the departed McPhee filled last season.
Since the team plays a hybrid defense out of a base 3-4, there will be times a player like Daryl Smith or Arthur Brown can play OLB in a 4-3 look, a role Smith played at a high level in Jacksonville and Brown played in college at Kansas State.
But the bottom line is, don't underestimate the capabilities of the man known as 'Doom'. He will be on the field more, and the hope is that will also result in more sacks.