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Front seven appears improved
It was only a minicamp snapshot, but there's growing evidence on display that the Ravens have significantly upgraded their front seven after getting pushed around last season.
Veteran defensive lineman Chris Canty could be a force upfront. At 6 feet 7, 317 pounds, Canty is tall, big and mobile with the agility to make eye-catching plays. He leaped into the air to snag an interception from backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor at the line and nearly ran the football back for a touchdown.
Former Dallas Cowboys first-round pick Marcus Spears isn't nearly as athletic as Canty, but he's extremely difficult to budge when he anchors at the line of scrimmage.
It's been a long time since the Ravens had bookend pass rushers like Terrell Suggs, who's noticeable leaner and quicker than a year ago when he struggled with injuries, and newcomer Elvis Dumervil (pictured). Dumervil is all business, all the time, hustling into the backfield. With his shorter, powerful frame, he creates a lot of leverage against tall offensive tackles.
Rookie nose guard Brandon Williams is massive at 6-1, 335 pounds, and he isn't fat. Williams has a lot of athleticism for a player of his stocky dimensions. The Ravens are thrilled with their third-round draft pick so far after discovering him at Division II Missouri Southern.
Veteran inside linebacker Daryl Smith could salvage the middle of the Ravens' defense after a rough offseason for the position that included Ray Lewis' retirement, Dannell Ellerbe signing a $35 million contract with the Miami Dolphins, Rolando McClain retiring and Jameel McClain still awaiting full medical clearance after a spinal cord contusion suffered last December.
Smith is instinctive, compact and quick, and the Jaguars' all-time leading tackler has something to prove after a sports hernia-groin injury derailed his final season in Jacksonville.
May 22, 2013