With Baltimore’s selection of Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw with the 35th pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the offseason competition for the starting spot vacated by Jarret Johnson just became a lot fiercer. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that fourth-year player Paul Kruger still remains the frontrunner for Johnson’s old gig, but he’ll have to outperform Upshaw.
“Obviously it bolsters our linebacker situation,” Harbaugh said as team officials regrouped after a busy second round on Friday. “It gives us one more player in that mix. It allows us to move some guys around a little bit. I think Paul is still the lead dog there. He’s is the veteran guy.”
Earlier this month, Kruger said that he was excited for the opportunity to take over for Johnson, whom he called a friend and a mentor, as the team’s strong-side outside linebacker. Harbaugh had previously said that Kruger’s main competitor for playing time would be Albert McClellan.