The Ravens have breezed through free agency and addressed many issues on the defense. Marcus Spears, Chris Canty, and of course, Elvis Dumervil will all be donning the purple and black in the 2013 season.
Looking forward to the draft, the biggest spot that will need to be addressed is the middle linebacker spot. Many people have had their eyes on Kevin Minter and Manti Te’o, and if the Ravens decide to go middle linebacker in the first round, they’ll likely take one of those two guys.
What will happen, however if Ozzie Newsome decides to go after another position with the first pick? Is there still ILB talent waiting in later rounds?
Luckily for the Ravens, there is—a lot of it!
There is still talent on the roster with Josh Bynes and Jameel McClain, but depth is desperately needed and if the right player is available, they may even be able to compete for a starting job.
Besides Te’o and Minter, the first name that stands out is Kiko Alonso. Alonso, the Oregon product, could be a player who will be available in round two or three. Unlike many draft-eligible players, he completed his tenure in college, playing all four years. He proved to be a fighter as he overcame much adversity in his time at Oregon. Whether it was his knee injury, or fighting back to the top spot on the depth chart, Alonso always put in the necessary work.
When it comes to talent, Alonso is an ideal fit for this defense. He makes all the tackles, he is great in pass coverage, and his speed is ideal. He ran about a 4.69 in the Oregon Pro-Day, and his agile play is a golden asset for any NFL team. John Harbaugh is always looking for speed, and Alonso provides that, especially in pass defense.
While my favorite part about Alonso is his speed on the field, he was quick in college at another aspect—getting into trouble.
A linebacker on the field, Alonso had a rough college career off the field. In February 2010, Alonso was charged with a DUI. His worst incident was in May of 2011. Kiko was arrested on charges of burglary, criminal misdemeanor, and criminal trespass. He has been clean for almost two years now, but he is going to have to prove himself to John Harbaugh if he wants to be the newest member of his “Mighty Men.”