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On the spot: Ravens linebacker Paul Kruger

4/25/2012

Over the next week, the AFC North will feature one player who is "On the spot" leading up to the NFL draft. That's a player who is holding a starting job now, but could lose it depending on how his team drafts.

Paul Kruger, Ravens linebacker

Who he's replacing: Jarret Johnson, who signed with the San Diego Chargers as a free agent. He made 80 straight starts for the Ravens but recorded 56 tackles last season, his fewest since 2006.

NFL résumé: Kruger was a 2009 second-round pick by the Ravens. In three seasons, he has one start, 28 total tackles and 6.5 sacks.

Analysis from Matt Williamson, of Scouts Inc.: Kruger looks like the heir apparent to Johnson for the Ravens. And Baltimore has plenty of other more pressing needs than at this position. So, I see Kruger in a situation now in which he either takes the job and runs with it or fails. But I think that job is his.

Potential draft replacement: Courtney Upshaw, Alabama.