OWINGS MILLS — Brent Urban did not grow up dreaming of being a professional football player.
He wanted to be Eric Lindros, the former NHL All-Star.
Like many other kids in Canada, Urban grew up playing hockey.
He was good, too.
He reportedly scored 100 goals as a 7-year old and was on the same junior hockey as several future NHL players.
But in high school, Urban, who was already 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, decided to switch his attention to football.
“I was definitely the biggest guy and I’d get a lot of penalties that a smaller guy wouldn’t have gotten,” Urban said. “So yes, it was right around that time that I decided to switch over.”
He eventually landed at Virginia, developed into an effective two-year starter along the Cavaliers’ defensive line and may now be the Ravens’ long-term answer at defensive end.
Baltimore drafted Urban in the fourth round Saturday.
The Ravens already have Chris Canty at defensive end, but Canty will be 32 in November and was not particularly productive last season.
He only had 30 tackles and two sacks in 15 games.
Urban missed time last year because of a high ankle sprain, but he had 40 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss and nine pass deflections in eight games.
Urban was also unable to compete in the full week of practice at the Senior Bowl due to the ankle. But as Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome put it, he “kicked butt” while he was out there.
“He’s got the potential to develop into a starting [defensive end],” Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said.
Baltimore runs a 3-4 defense, and the now 6-7, 295-pound Urban has prototypical size for a 3-4 defensive end.
“When you look at those [3-4 defensive ends], they’ve got to be … the best guys are typically 6-5 or 6-6,” assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said.
The Ravens also feel like Urban has the potential to become a disruptive as a pass rusher.
He only had one sack last season, but Hortiz referenced a game against Ball State last season during which Urban “really got after it.”
He had 10 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and two pass deflections during that game.