Trying to do all 32 teams before the draft...what do you think?
Key Stat: four — sacks allowed by the Baltimore offensive line in the playoffs.
The Ravens won their second Lombardi Trophy this winter thanks in large part due to the play of quarterback Joe Flacco, but let’s not forget about the revamped offensive line was one of the biggest reasons the Ravens regrouped in the playoffs and went on to win their second Super Bowl title. Boldly, the Ravens reshuffled their Oline, with Michael Oher moving from left to right tackle, second-round pick Kelechi Osomelemoving from right tackle to left guard and Bryant McKinnie moving from the sidelines to left tackle.
First off, I must say that I don’t see much chance for the Ravens to repeat, and even though they would never admit it, I don’t think they see much chance either. (Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome says the team will not restructure contracts to keep the team together)
First, their emotional leader, Ray Lewis retires.
Then center Matt Birk also announced his retirement, guard Bobby Williams was released, and last night I watched Bryant McKinnie state he would not be open to giving the Ravens a “hometown discount”.
Yesterday, the team trades away Anquan Boldin for a mere 6th round pick. Boldin, who will turn 33 in October, led all receivers in the postseason with 22 grabs for 380 yards and four touchdowns. Additionally, his two drops on catchable passes were the fewest among NFL wide receivers who were targeted at least 100 times, according to Pro Football Focus.
Furthermore, it is unlikely Ed Reed or Paul Kruger will be playing in B-more next season. In addition to Reed, safeties James Ihedigbo and Sean Considine are also free agents
In the short run, I see the Ravens taking a step backward. RotoWorld’s #9th ranked roster:http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/42452/59/team-needs—and—roster-rankings?pg=2
At least for now, the pressure is off the Ravens, who have now won two SuperBowls in just their 17th year of existence.
The pressure is also off QB Joe Flacco, who is financially set for life, and have hushed his many critics with his play during the Ravens playoff run.
With the pressure temporarily off, the Ravens can afford to create a three-year plan…they need to get rid of high priced veterans who will not be with the team in three years.
Now that quarterback Joe Flacco is under contract, re-signing ILB Dannell Ellerbe has become one of the team’s top priorities.
According to PFF, Ellerbe generated 18 total pressures, including 4.5 sacks, in the 79 snaps in which he rushed the quarterback.
Besides Ellerbe, some other inside linebackers expected to reach free agency include Jacksonville’s Daryl Smith, Cincinnati’s Rey Maualuga, Buffalo’s Nick Barnett, and Green Bay’s Brad Jones.
Round 1 #32 Jesse Williams NT, Alabama: Defensive tackle is one of the draft’s deepest positions. Players such as Georgia’s Johnathan Jenkins, Ohio State’s Johnathan Hankins and Alabama’s Jesse Williams may be available at pick No. 32. Ozzie Newsome continues to draft players from his alma mater.
Terrence Cody, a 2010 second-round draft pick, has been a massive disappointment. He lost his starting job to veteran Ma’ake Kemoeatu last season, and neither nose tackle played particularly well.
Kemoeatu, 34, is an unrestricted free agent and Cody, 24, has one year left on his rookie deal.
Round 2 #62 Terrance Williams, Baylor: In the Ravens’ vertical-oriented pass offense, wideouts who can create separation are ideal, while Williams’s forte is the deep route, as evidenced by his 18.0 yards per catch (11th NCAA).
Torrey Smith will soon get a contract that could eclipse 10 million/year, and Jacoby Jones is due $4 million in 2013, including a $3 million base salary and a $1 million roster bonus that comes due on March 16.
Rounding out the depth chart are Tandon Doss and Tommy Streeter.
Round 3 #94 Bacarri Rambo S, Georgia: With three unrestricted free agents at safety, the Ravens must retool at the position.
options in the draft include Florida’s Matt Elam, LSU’s Eric Reid, South Carolina’s D.J. Swearinger, and Georgia’s Bacarri Rambo.
Rambo can cover tight ends and running backs in man coverage, solid run-defender, known as a ballhawk. Rambo’s multiple off-the-field problems should not bother the Bengals who have the reputation for taking chances on players like Rambo.He was suspended for the 2011 season opener for a rules violation. Rambo followed that up with a positive drug test over the summer before the 2012 season that resulted in a four-game suspension to start the year
Round 4 Alvin Bailey Guard, Arkansas: The Ravens seem to always be good for one or two offensive lineman per year.
Eleven times since 2005 the Ravens have selected OLine in the top four rounds.
With only the right guard position currently set in stone (with Pro Bowler Marshal Yanda). Matt Birk has retired, leaving second-year center Gino Gradkowski as his likely replacement.
Round 5 Jake Stoneburner TE, Ohio State: With Boldin gone, the Ravens look to expand upon their two-TE sets, but an injury (or future free-agent loss) to either Dixon or Pitta would dramatically effect the offense.
Stoneburner, a former TE turned WR with the Buckeyes is on the rise after reportedly looking excellent at Ohio State’s pro-day, and may not be available this late.
Round 6 Bruce Taylor ILB Virginia Tech: Thought by many to be a late-round prospect, Taylor didn’t do himself any favors at the combine, but he was very productive for the Hokies and will be cheap insurance for McClain.
NOTE: ILB Jameel McClain started next to Lewis early in the season before suffering a serious neck injury that ended his 2012 season.
Round 7 Stansly Maponga DE/OLB TCU: A return to health for Suggs and steady improvement from 2nd year OLB Courtney Upshaw should ease the loss of Kruger, but depth is needed.
A surprise early-entrant, Maponga’s stats slipped in 2012, after an impressive 2011, when he was one of four players in the nation to rank in the top 10 in forced fumbles (5) and top 20 in sacks (9)
The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!