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What Josh Ross brings to the Baltimore Ravens

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Ross had a solid career in Ann Arbor and now has a chance at the pro level.

Washington v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After being unselected in the 2022 NFL Draft, former Michigan Wolverines linebacker Josh Ross signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent. The former captain reunites with former Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and former Michigan defensive end David Ojabo in Baltimore.

The 6-foot-2, 224-pounder was a standout leader on Michigan’s defense this season, helping the run defense become one of the top in the country. His play earned him a Third Team All-Big Ten honoree by the coaches and media.

Let’s take a look at the areas he is already great at and where he needs to improve before getting to the NFL.

Strengths

  • Continuous praise from coaches for being a leader
  • Downfield tackling
  • Play recognition
  • Overall toughness
  • Solid in zone coverage
  • Finds avenues to blitz well
  • Smart player who is constantly in the right place at the right time

Weakness

  • Lacks lateral quickness
  • Not a sure-tackler in the open field
  • Lacks speed to cover running backs in passing scenarios
  • Lacks versatility with struggles in coverage
  • Injury concerns

Harbaugh called upon Ross to step up in 2021, and he did just that. Putting him in the same conversation as Aidan Hutchinson and Brad Hawkins was a bold claim for the fifth-year senior after an injury-riddled and underperforming 2020. Ross rose to the occasion and became the anchor of the defense at the second level.

Ross will be respected for his accomplished career in Ann Arbor and his last season with the team. His ability to snuff out running plays will make him a player worth giving a shot in the NFL, and the Ravens are doing just that. But he will be held from a starting role because of his lack of athleticism and speed that don’t translate well to the next level.