BaltimoreRavens.com recently uploaded the best photos from OTAs, including a picture of third-year player Kamalei Correa playing outside linebacker.
This could come as a pleasant sight to many fans, as Correa has been a major disappointment during his first two years in the league. The general consensus to explain his struggles is that he was playing out of position. Correa was selected in the second-round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Ravens. Everyone assumed Correa was picked to help improve Baltimore’s lacking pass rush. Instead, the Ravens moved Correa to inside linebacker, where he has struggled ever since.
Playing players out of their natural position was one of the biggest complaints about former defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Pees was guilty of this with former first-round pick Matt Elam and with Tony Jefferson last year.
Don “Wink” Martindale, Baltimore’s new defensive coordinator, already has players and fans excited. Several players, most notably Terrell Suggs, have spoken about how the defense can be let loose this year. The players are seemingly buying into Wink’s aggressive new approach to the defense, which was what the Ravens prided themselves on for so long.
The outside linebacker position for Baltimore is stacked, but it may be best shot for Correa to make the team and even contribute on defense at this point. With the emergence of Patrick Onwuasor last season, Bam Bradley’s performance in the preseason and the addition of Kenny Young in the draft, there is little opportunity for Correa at inside linebacker. Correa will battle Terrell Suggs, Matthew Judon, Za’Darius Smith, Tyus Bowser, and Tim Williams for snaps at outside linebacker, but he may have a better chance of earning playing time there than he does at inside linebacker.
Correa was lauded for his “high motor” coming out of Boise State, so hopefully he can pick up where he left off in college and contribute in his last two years of his rookie contract for Baltimore.