We’re now just a few short weeks away from the start of the NFL draft, and really, what’s there left to discuss? The Baltimore Ravens have been their usual quiet selves throughout free agency, they’ve signed one of their top defensive stars like they tend to do with most of their best defensive players, and overall, the team doesn’t have many glaring needs that are causing a lot of major worry heading into next season.
However, there is a debate that keeps cropping up amongst fans and analysts, which is: which position needs the most upgrading heading into the new season, receiver or offensive line?
Naturally, like anything else, there will be folks on both sides of the debate: Those who believe that another speedy deep threat is the answer to propelling the Ravens’ offense from a solid, middle of the pack receiving unit, to an absolutely frightening high-flying attack to pair with their fabulous running game and notoriously stout defense. There will also be those that contend that what the Ravens need is solid line protection for quarterback Joe Flacco in order to have enough time in the pocket to sling the ball down field in the team’s primary vertical passing scheme, as well as having the proper linemen that can be maulers in the run game plowing the road for running back Ray Rice.
Of course, the Ravens have a need at both receiver and offensive line, but which position out of the two do you feel needs more attention. And, as an added side-debate, which position would the Ravens be more likely to use their 2012 1st round pick on?
(After the "Jump", more on the two Ravens’ needs and why there isn’t a wrong answer to the question proposed.)
We’ve all read it by now, but let’s take a look one more time. GM Ozzie Newsome out-lined his off-season game plan at the Ravens’ end of the season press conference.
"We are going to have to build on the offensive line. I think we will still build at the receiver spot. I think we'll work there. And, you don't ever have enough pass rushers. So, if that guy is there, we'll entertain that also."
The only question left to be answered is: which position that Newsome mentioned above is, or should be, the team’s main priority?
Well, as seen this past season, the Ravens have an insatiable appetite for airing out the long-ball. In the Ravens’ delicate-in-nature Air Coryell scheme that requires each piece to be moving together seamlessly to maximize it’s full potential, there is no right answer as to whether receiver or offensive line is a more important facet overall. The offense requires that the line hold up in pass protection in order for the needed deep-threat receivers to sprint as far down the field as they can. Both positions are very important aspects to the offenses’ overall success, but with the Ravens needing to add both pieces to the puzzle this off-season, which position is in more need of some TLC?
So, it’s time to have at it. The 2012 draft is luckily choc-full of great prospects at both offensive line and receiver and with the Ravens mostly sitting back in free-agency, they’ll surely upgrade both positions through the draft.