In addition to the blockbuster trade to land receiver Anquan Boldin, the Baltimore Ravens recently filled another hole in signing free-agent defensive lineman Cory Redding. Baltimore inked Redding to a two-year deal to add depth to a previously thin defensive line.
This week the AFC North blog caught up with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson to get an in-depth look at what Redding brings to the Ravens.
Matt, how exactly does Redding fit in Baltimore's defensive scheme?
Williamson: He's a good fit for them. You haven't seen him ever play in a 3-4, so that's a bit of a mystery. But he is, in style of play, sort of a tweener between a defensive tackle and a defensive end. It wasn't that long ago that he had a very productive year, and it wouldn't blow me away if he did it again going into that system. The Ravens lost Justin Bannan and they lost Dwan Edwards, and I think both of those guys are better run-stuffers than Redding. But Redding brings more to the table as a potential pass-rusher than either one of them. He kind of reminds me a poor man's Trevor Pryce.
Williamson: It doesn't matter anymore, but even when the Browns took Williams way back when, I thought they were wasting his talent. I felt that wouldn't work out at all even before it happened. It wasn't a smart move, because that's not what [Williams] does. While Redding once was a good penetrator, and as he's getting older sometimes you'll see these guys move to a 3-4 where they don't have the same quickness. But he still has the size and the savvy with some inside pass-rush ability. It's sort of a natural progression. As he slows down, he can do a little more [holding the line of scrimmage] as oppose to making a ton of plays in the backfield and blowing things up. And they don't have much invested in it, so I thought it was a pretty good move.
Can Redding push Pryce for a starting job at DE this season?
Williamson: For this second, I would say he's a natural first guy off the bench. Redding can be a big end on running downs and move inside on passing downs. He'll play hard. I'm not a huge believer that Pryce is there for the long haul. His athletic ability and all his dynamic qualities are declining. Pryce had injury problems in the past, too. So who's to say you can count on him? But with both players at their best at this stage of their careers, I would take Pryce. But Redding is awfully good insurance.