Every weekday until Wednesday, the day before the first round of the NFL draft, The Sun will examine where the Ravens stand at each position, the likelihood that they will address that spot early in the draft and some of the prospects that they may consider.
Today, we'll examine the linebacker position:
Current linebackers under contract: Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Jameel McClain, Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Sergio Kindle, Albert McClellan, Chavis Williams, Josh Bynes, Cody Glenn.
Chances that the Ravens draft a linebacker in first three rounds: Moderate. The Ravens lost a consistent and valuable performer in Jarret Johnson, but they solidified the group by resigning two-year starting inside linebacker Jameel McClain and valuable reserve Brendon Ayanbadejo. They also put a second-round restricted tender on Ellerbe, who will return. They'd still like to add even more depth to the position, but it doesn't appear to be as big of a priority as other positions, like at offensive line and wide receiver. Kruger and little-used Sergio Kindle will have to prove capable of inheriting some of Johnson's responsibilities, which include setting the edge against the run. With Lewis, McClain and Ellerbe, the Ravens appear to be set on the inside, though they know that they'll have to prepare for life after Lewis sooner or later. What would be attractive to them is a linebacker who can get after the quarterback while also making some plays in the running game. Hightower fits that bill, but it seems likely that he'll be picked before the Ravens are on the clock with the Pittsburgh Steelers being mentioned as a potential suitor.
Linebackers possibly on Ravens' radar: Emmanuel Acho (Texas), Zach Brown (North Carolina), Dont'a Hightower (Alabama), Bruce Irvin (West Virginia), James-Michael Johnson (Nevada), Mychal Kendricks (California), Ronnell Lewis (Oklahoma), Shea McClellin (Boise State), Sean Spence (Miami), Bobby Wagner (Utah State).