Despite drafting Arthur Brown in the second round, Baltimore understood that their inside linebacker position still needed to be addressed. Brown, who is recovering from sports hernia surgery, will not be available until the start of training camp, and Jameel McClain is still trying to get back to 100% after suffering a spinal cord contusion last December. Let's not forget the failed experiment with Rolando McClain, which was a bit of an embarrassment for Baltimore.
What does Smith add? A lot actually. Smith, who was drafted in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, is a nine year veteran. Although he only played two games last season due to sports hernia surgery, Smith has been a starter his entire career.
Playing for the abysmal Jaguars, Smith was still a very productive player as he has totaled a Jaguar franchise record 1,090 tackles (726 solo), 21 1/2 sacks, six interceptions, nine forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries in his career. In fact, he recorded at least 100 tackles in seven straight seasons spanning from 2005 to 2011.
Smith is going to give the Ravens a true veteran presence at the inside linebacker position and has played outside linebacker as well during his career. This is one of those under the radar moves that could really pan out for the Ravens. Do not be surprised if Smith ends up starting next to Brown in the middle of this defense in 2013, especially if Jameel McClain can't fully recover to get back to 100%.
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