Firstly, one week into the regular season, considering the 2011 draft is definitely premature. However after the sterling defensive performance against the Jets, and consider the overall talent of our roster and coaching team, I am certain we will be drafting no higher than No29 i.e Championship game.
If we were to win it all, would Ray, Ed and Trevor, decide to hang up their cleats and finish their outstanding careers as winners? There maybe only limited amounts left in the tank.
Ossie Newsome and Eric DeCosta are the best GM / Pro Player Director pairing in the leauge bar none, always able to move around in the draft to take these best player available, whilst also filling a team need. Consider how many other teams fail in this aspiration.
So here is my take on positional needs and possible use of draft picks.
QB: Barring a catastophic injury to Joe, this is not a need, though if a QB like Pat Devlin fell significantly on draft day, we might consider a Day3 selection just to provide the team with some insurance especially if he suffered a fall of Jevon Snead proportions
WR: Currently a strength of the team, rather a historic weakness with 4 solid WRs, but there could be storm clouds on the horizon. Derrick is 36 and may retire, T.J. is only signed for a year, as is Donte. We could we surprise and spend a Day2 selection on a WR unless someone like Michael Floyd fell, in which case it might be a R1 selection. Greg Little could be there later on as might Cecil Shorts III
TE: Set for the forseeable future. Even if Todd left, we have Davon Drew on the practice squad
OL: Current injuries are a concern, but realistically we have one of the best lines in the league with plenty of depth. We have depth across the board. The only possible question is a long term replacement for Birk if Chester cannot be relied upon.
RB: Again pretty much set here, but if an injury was to befall Ray or Willis, we could find ourselves in a 'Packers' situation as Parmele has been a Special Teamer only so far. It is however fairly easy to pick up a RB which appears to be the easiest position to make the college to pro transition to. Da'Rel Scott, could be interesting Day3 pick up
Ironically the defense might need more assistance than the offense.
DL: Trevor is 35. Paul Kruger seems to be an odd player for a 3-4 defence, not quite there as an OLB, not big enough to be a DE. We drafted Arthur Jones in Round5 but he has had injuries. A guy like Jarvis Jenkins of Clemson who runs a sub5.0 at over 310lbs could be worth a look on Day2
LB: The disturbing injury to Sergio Kindle has put OLB in a bit of a flux especially with Terrell having not played up yet to his contract extension. I had hoped that the prsense Sergio might release Terrell a bit more. If his injuries prove insurmountable, then Cliff Matthews could be an interesting Day2 or early Day3 selection. In the middle Ray won't be there forever and whilst Gooden, Ellerbe and Phillips have potential, none have broken out. We could stick here or maybe look with a lower round selection maybe one of the local lads, Alex Wujciak or Adrian Moten
DB: Our secondary is roundly criticised, unfairly in my opinion. Ed is clearly the glue which holds the secondary together, and I think Zbiworski is miscast as a FS. I would be happier if Hamlin learns the defense and steps up quickly. At CB, we have a number of good players, not stars but as good a group as many a team with Washington, Webb, Wilson and Carr plus Foxworth to come back. However, if a guy like Ras-i-Dowling was to fall because of his unimpressive 40time, I think Ossie and Eric would think long and hard about pulling the trigger.
So my team needs are in no particular: WR, DE, OLB, and FS with a possible need of ILB.
ST: And the selection of a Kicker could well occur.
I hope and believe that the Ravens will be in Dallas on 2/6/2011, but as a team we may find a number of our key contributors deservedly joining the Ring of Honour.