After being active for only five games in his first season on the Ravens’ 53-man roster, defensive lineman Bryan Hall will move to linebacker this season.
Listed at 291 pounds and considered an undersized defensive tackle, Hall told the team’s official website he’s lost 23 pounds over the last three weeks. He spent the entire 2011 season on the Ravens’ practice squad before making the team last summer.
Hall showed versatility in training camp practices last year as he occasionally lined up at inside linebacker for the scout team. He made three tackles in his limited role last season.
“[Coach John Harbaugh] told me that he felt like I was too good of a player to be on the bench,” Hall said to the team’s official site. “He was just trying to give me an opportunity to get on the field and play more. It’s the NFL, you’ve always got to progress.”
With the free-agent additions of veterans Chris Canty and Marcus Spears, Hall was facing an uphill battle to make the team along the defensive line. The Ravens have lost inside linebackers Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe, and Brendon Ayanbadejo in the offseason, so Hall figures to have a better chance in competing for a linebacker spot if he’s able to make a smooth transition.
Beyond starter Jameel McClain — who still hasn’t been officially cleared after suffering a spinal cord contusion last December — the Ravens are looking at a group of competitors including Josh Bynes, Albert McClellan, Nigel Carr, and D.J. Bryant at the inside linebacker spot. Baltimore is expected to look long and hard at the group of inside backers in this year’s draft.
In the meantime, Hall is another name to add to the mix at the position.