Prior to the 2016 NFL Draft, Kamalei Correa was projected as a second-round pick. The Ravens confirmed that when they made him with the 42nd overall selection.
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Scouts considered him to be an edge rusher with explosiveness and given the proper coaching he could “create some edge panic”. So, what did the Ravens coaching staff do? They moved him to inside linebacker where he was overwhelmed and ill-equipped physically and mentally, essentially wasting two years of his career.
This season they’ve moved him back outside and he’s beginning to perform the way most scouts expected. But now, perhaps caught up in a numbers game, the Ravens 2016 second rounder has been dealt to the Titans where he’ll be reacquainted with defensive coordinator Dean Pees.
The move begs the question…was it Pees who moved Correa inside in Baltimore or was it then linebackers’ coach Wink Martindale? Perhaps Martindale isn’t high on the former Boise State Bronco and Pees has seen enough tape of him on the outside this preseason to admit his mistake – assuming the mistake was his.
Or maybe, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel sees a little of himself in Correa. Vrabel after all was just a guy his first four seasons in Pittsburgh but later became a first team All Pro in 2007 and a three-time Super Bowl Champ as a member of the New England Patriots.
The Ravens have never given up on a second-round pick so quickly and a sixth-round pick in return hardly seems like fair compensation for a guy who looks like he could be coming into his own. If either Tim Williams or Tyus Bowser is the heir apparent to Terrell Suggs, perhaps Correa could have provided quality depth in 2019.
But we’ll never find out. We’re left wondering what might have been had Correa remained on the outside as a rookie. And we’re left waiting to see how things pan out for him in Nashville.
Regardless of what happens we’ll wish the best to a guy who may one day be best remembered as the player the Ravens opted for over UCLA’s Myles Jack.