The Ravens' hybrid defense requires versatile defensive ends who can comfortably drop back in coverage to shadow running backs leaking out of the backfield, spy mobile quarterbacks, swiftly come off the edge to pressure quarterbacks, and/or contain the outside and force ball carriers to pound the ball up the middle.
Who starts at the defensive end position in 2014?
Push to start
DeAngelo Tyson, 6-2, 315, third season
Tyson has something on his cohorts' wish lists: two seasons of game experience under Dean Pees. Tyson lunched on quarterbacks in back-to-back matchups, wrapping up Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton and Jay Cutler’s backup Josh McCown of the Bears.
That's big time, considering that both team’s offensive lines, respectively, gave up 29 (third) and 30 (fourth) sacks in 2013. If that’s an indicator that Tyson is a beast, he's an easy pick to start this season.
Chris Canty, 6-7, 317, 10th season
Canty forced two fumbles, recorded two sacks and also swatted down four passes in 13 games. He also made the same number of tackles as Courtney Upshaw, and one less than Elvis Dumervil (31). Canty is a disruptive force in the trenches and has previously worked alongside superstars in DeMarcus Ware (Cowboys) and Osi Umenyiora (Giants). The 6-foot-7 monster will probably be moved around the line—based on favorable matchups—and his size, coupled with his tenacity, is interchangeable regardless where he lines up.
Kapron Lewis-Moore, 6-4, 310, second season
An early winner in the Who-Fills-Arthur-Jones’-Cleats sweepstakes, Lewis-Moore should take his game to the next level after missing his rookie year with an ACL injury. He’s bulked up since entering the league at 298 pounds and we’re aware that the Ravens’ defensive line always has room for fresh beef. His mobility and power will keep the line’s motor running, especially when the others need a break. Let’s not be surprised if KLM winds up with 7 sacks and 35 tackles this season.
Brent Urban, 6-7 295, rookie
Urban’s potential, like his size, is ginormous. He’ll tower over linemen and force quarterbacks to make hasty decisions. The long-armed, hockey-playing brute from Canada should raise havoc in the war-zones throughout his career.