OWINGS MILLS - Adding more depth to their defensive line, the Ravens selected defensive end Za’Darius Smith of Kentucky in the fourth round (No. 122). Here’s the quick skinny on why the Ravens liked Smith:
@ He was the defensive MVP of the East-West Shrine game, strengthening his draft stock.
@ Scouts consider Smith versatile enough to play both defensive end and defensive tackles. That’s important in the Ravens’ system.
@ Smith was the second consecutive defensive line pick for the Ravens, joining Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis, who the Ravens grabbed in the third round.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome believes in having a deep defensive line rotation, allowing the Ravens to rotate them and keep their big bodies fresh.
“Since I’ve been in Baltimore, I’ve always loved to get me a big defensive lineman,” Newsome said.
On a conference call, Smith said he watched former Ravens linebacker Pernell McPhee, who left during free agency to join the Bears.
“I hope to follow in his footsteps,” Smith said.