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Linebacker Albert McClellan should not be Week 1 starter for Baltimore Ravens

NFL: Baltimore Ravens-Training Camp Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

By not re-signing outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, the Baltimore Ravens made an addition by subtraction. For whatever Upshaw brought in run defense, his one-dimensional skill set and his horrifying play in space in coverage could not be kept on a defense that was trying to get faster and more versatile.

Linebacker Albert McClellan is a player cut from the same cloth. His lack of athleticism and pass rushing ability will hamper the team on early downs.

The Ravens are in a situation where it tcan decide what type of defense it wants to be. If inside linebacker Zachary Orr continues on the path he is on, he will beat out rookie linebacker Kamalei Correa. Correa represents the versatility and the speed the Ravens have been after. Most thought of him as a SAM linebacker after he was drafted. In that role, Correa would be used rushing and dropping in hook and flat zones. His speed would unlock early down blitz packages if offenses come out in three or four wide formations.

McClellan is a player who would force the Ravens to pigeonhole its playcalling on defense. The SAM linebacker would never be a threat to rush the passer on early downs, which would in turn allow opposing offenses to scheme around the lack of versatility in that spot by getting McClellan in space.

Correa would at the SAM would bring the Ravens defense to a higher level. It should be his job to lose, regardless of the fact he is a rookie.