Don’t Forget About Albert McClellan

With the departure of Jarret Johnson, Albert McClellan could be the new edge-setter.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Saturday, April 14th, 2012 at 11:43 am | Categories: Ryan Mink

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh pointed to Paul Kruger as the replacement for departed outside linebacker Jarret Johnson.

But don’t forget about Albert McClellan.

The lesser-known former undrafted free agent became a versatile backup last year and was the team’s leading tackler on special teams.

Now he could be the edge-setting run stopper subbing in at outside linebacker.

“Albert McClellan will be in the mix, and others potentially, but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t rise to the occasion and have a heck of a year,” Harbaugh said at last week’s pre-draft press conference.

McClellan was a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end at Marshall, where he was a Conference USA Defensive MVP after a sophomore year in which he ranked sixth in the nation with 19 tackles for loss.

The Ravens scooped him up and let him develop on their practice squad during the 2010 season.

McClellan made the active roster last year. He led the Ravens with 12 special-teams tackles and recorded a tackle on defense in all but five regular-season games, finishing with 19 tackles.

The highlight of his season came on Thanksgiving night when McClellan got the start against San Francisco due to Ray Lewis’ toe injury.

He had been practicing at inside linebacker, but had never played there in a game before. He and the Ravens stoned the 49ers and running back Frank Gore.

Now McClellan could be in line to do more run stopping, as Kruger (5.5 sacks) has largely been a pass-rushing threat thus far.

“I’m going to set the edge on the run. Setting the edge is what I do,” McClellan said on Friday.

“Hopefully I can compete for a position. That’s what we’re here for is to compete. So by me knowing as many positions as I can learn from [Defensive Coordinator Dean] Pees, it lends room for me to step up and take more responsibility.”

McClellan said he’s brushed up on the different linebacker positions by reading over his notes at various times this offseason. He’s also been a frequent visitor to the team’s training facility this spring, getting in individual workouts and getting his face seen by coaches.

“I’m pretty tight with my money, so I use the free weight room around here,” he said with a laugh.

McClellan is one of the many Ravens who will report for the team’s strength and conditioning program beginning Monday. He’s one young player to keep an eye on.

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