Suggs raved about rookie Courtney Upshaw’s readiness for the NFL. The Ravens see Upshaw as a “plug and play” option who can step right into the lineup and Suggs agrees with that assessment. Suggs said that the Ravens’ first pick in the draft is ahead of where he was when he joined the Ravens as a rookie in 2003.
“He clearly knows the game, and they’re moving him around. So it isn’t just him playing the ‘rush’ (linebacker spot). He’s playing a little bit of everything,” Suggs said, via John Eisenberg of CSNBaltimore.com. “I think that’s awesome, and I’m really excited to see how the puzzle comes together when we’re all here. But until then, I’ve got 100 percent confidence in this kid.”
The Ravens aren’t expecting Upshaw to replace Suggs’ production all by himself. That would be a tall order for any player, let alone a rookie. Paul Kruger, Sergio Kindle and Pernell McPhee will also be part of the mix looking to keep the teeth in the Baltimore defense. If Upshaw is as ready as advertised, though, the Ravens will have a better chance of making do without the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year as well as a chance to be an even better defense when Suggs is ready to get back on the field.