What does Dumervil mean for the Ravens Defense?

By Baltimore Ravens Team Writer Brian Mulligan

photo obtained from Getty Images

Prior to today, the Ravens had suffered what has looked like a mass exodus on defense. The team had lost its heart and soul with both Ray Lewis and Ed Reed both leaving, as well as other key contributors like Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe and Cary Williams. The Panic meter was high among Ravens fans and some even went far enough as to write the team off for 2013. A team that prides itself on its superior defense looked mediocre at best to the casual observer. That all changed, with, undoubtedly the best free agent signing of the year, Elvis Dumervil.

Dumervil agreed to a deal worth 5 years and 26 million dollars with 9 million in incentives and a lowly 2.5 million dollar cap hit in 2o13. Dumervil, a pro bowl pass rusher, is playing for less money than Paul Kruger, who prior to this year Ravens fans were ready to write off as a bust.  The Ravens pass rush already looks much improved from last year with Terrell Suggs healthy, Courtney Upshaw with another year under his belt and free agent signings Chris Canty and Marcus Spears ready to bolster the defensive line. Other than ILB, the Ravens have improved at every position in the front seven.

Dumervil also provides relief to the secondary, which will be regaining Probowl caliber CB Lardarius Webb. The Ravens already have considerable depth at Cornerback, even with Cary Williams leaving. Jimmy Smith and Chykie Brown will need to step up next year and stay healthy, but both have shown that they are capable of starting. At safety, it appears as if the Ravens still have some work to do, with James Ihedigbo and Christian Thompson projected to start next year. The team is reportedly interested in former Raiders safety Michael Huff, who was cut for financial reasons. Currently, the secondary is slightly worse than it was last year.

The Ravens can make up for their needs at Safety, ILB and Nose Tackle in the draft. All three classes are superb in this year and should produce some high-quality rookies. This year, the Ravens have 12 draft picks; and given GM Ozzie Newsome’s excellent draft history, the team should have no problem finding talented replacements at all three positions. The Ravens have been linked to a number of players at 32, and will likely end up taking the Best Player Available, similar to how they selected Courtney Upshaw last year.

Although the Ravens will continue to get nailed by the media and jealous fans of other teams, there is nothing to worry about on the defensive side of the ball. This team is too smart to become irrelevant any time soon.



  1. tsuscrumhalf says

    DL: Improved over last year (Spears, Ngata, Canty, Art Jones, Pernell McPhee)
    OLB: Suggs, Dumerville, Courtney Upshaw
    ILB: Work to be done (J McClain, J Bynes, A McClellan & more work to be done)
    CB: L Webb, C Graham, J Smith, C Brown, A Jackson (depth & talent)
    S: Work to be done (Christian Thompson, Omar Brown & ???????)

    So far, the front 7 looks good & I expect w/12 picks, Ozzie will use 2-3 each on ILB & S and talent emerges. Plus, a low priced vet or 2 will be picked up before Sept 5th.

    Last year’s team couldn’t stop the run. That’s fixed. Dumerville > Kruger. Pass rush will be improved. Could see a lot of nickel to keep more CB on the field & minimize the need for big hitting S.

    The D is getting younger & faster after a very much subpar year last season. With 12 picks, Ozzie will find a few solid starters. Optimism reigns!