With the unfortunate retirement of Baltimore Ravens All-Pro inside linebacker Zach Orr, there is an immediate vacancy at the starting inside linebacker position opposite C.J. Mosley and linebacker Kamalei Correa has to fill that void.
People can debate whether or not Correa is ready for a starting role on the Ravens defense because he didn’t get a lot of snaps last year. But at the end of the day, the Ravens saw something in Correa that made the team use a second round pick on him in the 2016 NFL Draft. Early on last offseason after the draft, the Ravens were experimenting with Correa moving him around the defense from outside to inside linebacker. Whether or not Correa can make the transition to inside linebacker remains to be seen, but the Ravens need to found out as soon as possible.
Selecting an inside linebacker high in the 2017 NFL Draft would in some ways signal Correa isn’t the player the Ravens thought he was which would be a serious problem. The Ravens drafted inside linebacker Arthur Brown in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft and Brown turned out to be a bust.
The Ravens are not in a position to allow Correa to suffer the same fate as Brown. Correa is going to have to grow up fast in the Ravens defense in terms of being a starter. He isn’t going to learn by sitting on the bench. Not to mention there are other needs that this team needs to focus on and drafting an inside linebacker high in the draft or even at all would just seem like a waste in all honesty.
This organization has proven time and time again that it can find undrafted free agent linebackers like Orr and Bart Scott to name a couple who can develop into quality starters. If that is the route the Ravens need to go then so be it. But one way or another, Correa has to see some significant time in practice to say the least this offseason.