Now that the draft is over we can start to have a better idea of what our Baltimore Ravens will look like. We also have many questions and every move is very critical because we are a Super Bowl contender. Starting or not starting, cutting or not cutting a certain guy could be the difference between a championship or another disappointing loss. Let's look at some of the interesting scenarios.
Who are going to be our starting OT's?
As of right now Michael Oher has the LT spot, but that could change. I think the drafting of Jah Reid pushes Jared Gaither out, however what if we end up playing by last years rules? If that's the case Gaither stays with us if not traded and now we have two LT's. I personally thing Gaither is the better LT, but the Ravens will also have to decide if they want to pay him that money. If we end up going by last years rules the Gaither situation could be interesting.
Oher will be the LT if Gaither is gone, but who on the right? Reid is the first guy who comes to mind, but some people have forgotten about Ramon Harewood. Harewood is a project, but he is very intelligent and has ideal size for an OT. He was one of the four player who showed up at the facility to workout on Friday, which tells me he is ready to work. Reid needs some work on technique as well, but could be the starter right away. This should be a very interesting battle come training camp.
Who will be our RB's?
Ray Rice will obviously be here, but that's about the only sure thing. It looks like Willis McGahee is on his way out and the Ravens have said they will let LeRon McClain test the market. If lose both of them we have Jalen Parmale, Curtis Steele, Anthony Allen and Jason McKie as a FB. I think we will do what we did last year and keep four total RB's and FB's. I personally hope we re-sign McClain, but if not I think we should go with Steele, Allen and McKie. Parmale has been great on special teams, but has lost his value to me. He no longer will be the kick returner now with drafting Torrey Smith and David Reed. I also don't feel he offers anything different at the RB position. Rice is the all around back, Steele has blazing speed which we never had and Allen adds the power. Should be another interesting scenario to keep tabs on.
What about our pass rush?
Many of us thought we would draft a pass rusher in the draft, but we kept passing on them. This was one of our biggest needs and it got ignored. Could this possibly mean that we may finally see Sergio Kindle? I really felt pass rush was arguably our greatest need and for us not to address it must mean that we have another plan for that. Kindle would definitely be a boost and I am hoping this means they like how he is progressing. Free agency is our next option, but until this CBA mess gets figured out we can't talk with any and don't even know who will be available.
Which young WR will step up?
I think it's pretty safe to say that T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte Stallworth will not be back. That leaves us with only two proven WR's in Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason. Mason is still effective, but is getting older and has had some injuries the last couple years. He is still our #2, I believe, and even though he is as tough as anyone you just never know if the age finally catches up. The rest of our WR's are young and inexperienced. We have Reed, Torrey Smith, Marcus Smith, Tandon Doss, Justin Harper, and James Hardy. At least two of these guys will need to really step up to help our passing game that has been average at best. I think Smith and Harper have had their chances, but anyone of the other four could step up. I really like the young talent we have here and feel they compliment each other nicely. I personally loved the Doss pick and think he may be the most polished out of any of them. This will be another big battle to watch during training camp and may the best man win.
Who will start and stay out of our CB's?
We have a very young and IMO solid CB group. Last year we kept 5 CB's on the roster, but have Jimmy Smith, Domonique Foxworth, Josh Wilson, Chris Carr, Lardarius Webb, Cary Williams, Fabian Washington, and Chykie Brown. This means we obviously can't keep them all and have to make some decisions. I think Smith, Foxworth and Webb are locks to be back next year, but everyone else could have a chance to leave us. Before the draft I said we for sure bring back Carr and Wilson, but now I'm not so sure. We drafted two CB's and I think that means one of them could be gone. I feel Wilson is the better of the two, but Carr was solid all season and will probably be cheaper. I feel we will only see one of them back and will depend on price and who we covet more. That is four spots taken and will leave the rest battling. Fabian played horrible last year and should definitely be cut. If we let Wilson or Carr goes that leaves one spot between Williams and Brown. I personally love Williams and wanted to see what he could do with more reps. With the youth at the group I don't think he will get that chance, but could possibly try again at safety. I think we should try and move him there and then keep Brown as the 5th string. I feel we have some quality guys already and now that we added Smith I hope we can stop hearing the ridiculous criticism of the group.
Those are some of the questions I am looking forward to playing out and can't wait til camp. I am very interested on hearing everybody's opinions and what other questions you are looking forward to.