The Baltimore Ravens have signed defensive tackle Isaiah Mack to their practice squad, per yesterday’s official transaction report, adding youth and depth to a defensive line that just lost veteran Derek Wolfe for the season.
Mack made the Tennessee Titans’ 53-man roster as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2019 and showed some promise as a rookie.
After being waived by the Titans in November 2020, he played in two games for the New England Patriots before joining the Denver Broncos in the offseason. He was waived during final roster cuts this season and eventually joined the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ practice squad, his last stop before arriving in Baltimore this week.
The Ravens definitely need the help along their defensive line after head coach John Harbaugh announced the disappointing news about Wolfe earlier this week. The veteran defensive end was expected to return this season after returning to practice in October, but his eligibility to be activated off injured reserve expired on Tuesday.
Mack is now the only full-time defensive lineman on Baltimore’s practice squad, as Kahlil McKenzie has been cross-training as an offensive and defensive lineman in recent weeks. But the Ravens have used up both of McKenzie’s standard elevations already this season, making him ineligible for another activation unless he is added to the active roster.
Isaiah Mack Scouting Report
Mack dominated the Southern Conference at Chattanooga, earning honors as a first-team All-American, first-team All-SoCon and the SoCon Defensive Player of the Year during his senior season, per Patrick O’Shea of Daily Citizen-News.
Mack has success getting to the quarterback both at Chattanooga and in the NFL, with a 67.2 pass rush grade in 2019 that featured two sacks and six total pressures in 100 snaps, per Pro Football Focus.
Some of Mack’s pass rushing tape is truly impressive, with consistently-good usage of his upper body to free himself of blockers.
At 299 pounds, Mack is undersized for a run-stopping defensive tackle, but he makes up for that with some extra strength. He even put on his best Calais Campbell impression on a few plays as a Titan, throwing opposing offensive linemen to the ground.
He played well against perennial All-Pro Quenton Nelson of the Indianapolis Colts last season as well.
Mack also has just one missed tackle in 278 career snaps, an encouraging sign for a Ravens defense that has struggled to tackle opposing ballcarriers this season.
While he won’t be a high-impact player, depth is always key in the NFL, so Mack could play a role for the Ravens this season.
Ravens Could Target UGA DTs
But Mack isn’t a long-term solution for an aging Ravens defensive line that currently has three players older than 30 years old and only two younger than 25.
With Brandon Williams’ contract set to expire after this season, Baltimore will certainly be looking to next year’s draft to build their future defensive line.
Ravens scouts will probably be watching plenty of Bulldog football this fall, as the University of Georgia has two top-tier defensive line prospects in Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt.
The 6-foot-6, 340-pound Davis is a stout run defender who has played so well that he’s been mentioned as a potential Heisman candidate.
Wyatt has shot up draft boards with a combination of speed and power, but he might lack the polish of a pro-ready prospect.
With plenty of time in both the NFL and NCAA seasons, there’s no telling where the Ravens might be drafting or where either player might be selected, but both would fill a key need in Baltimore.