Ravens Roster Outlook: Outside Linebackers
The Baltimore Ravens have experience at outside linebacker to compliment a pair of rookies playing the "Mike" (Parick Queen) and "Will" (Malik Harrison.
Here's how the depth at outside linebacker will likely shape up:
Judon is playing under the franchise tag for $16.8 million this season. The Ravens are deciding if they want to sign him to a long-term deal. Judon is coming off one of his finest years as a pro, leading the team with 9.5 sacks and earning a trip to the Pro Bowl. He also ranked fourth in the NFL with 33 quarterback hits.
Bowser had his best season since being selected in the second round (47th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. Bowser has dealt with some growing pains over the past couple of years, but appeared to be more comfortable in his role this season. He was second on the team with five sacks (-35 yards), and finished with 20 tackles, two passes defended, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery for a touchdown, helping Baltimore's defense rank No. 3 in points (17.6) and No. 4 in yards (300.6) allowed per game. This is a huge season for Bowser, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
Ferguson is poised to make a bigger impact. After a slow start, the rookie from Louisiana Tech played much better when his playing time increased after fellow linebacker Pernell McPhee suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 7. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Ferguson finished his first year with 2.5 sacks, 31 tackles and nine quarterback hits in 14 games (nine starts).
Ward signed a one-year deal in March. Ward played more than 50 percent of the defensive snaps with the Ravens. The team had an opening on the 53-man roster when safety Tony Jefferson (knee) was placed on injured reserve. Ward finished the season with seven tackles, one sack and two fumble recoveries in 11 games. The Ravens love his potential.
McPhee was second on the team with three sacks before his season was cut short because of a triceps injury he suffered against the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 20. McPhee also recorded 19 tackles and one pass defensed over his seven games. He signed another one-year deal in May and can be an impact player if he stays healthy.