The Baltimore Ravens have made a habit of overhauling their team in the off season to manage the salary cap and keep themselves competitive, not just for this season, but for the foreseeable future as well. This year they let go many old faces that were fan favorites but they also brought in some very exciting veterans to add in with their incoming draft class.
Baltimore, for the first time in over a decade, struggled against the run last season. So, the Ravens chose to bolster their defensive line via free agency and the draft. The team brought in former first round pick Marcus Spears from the Dallas Cowboys, veteran defensive end/lineman Chis Canty from the New York Giants and drafted defensive lineman Brandon Williams as well. All three of these players could potentially crack the starting lineup for the Ravens and will undoubtedly see plenty of playing time this season. Canty and Spears are both proven NFL players and Williams has shown impressive so far.
The Ravens made their biggest free agent signing in pass rush specialist Elvis Dumervil however. Dumervil has been a perennial Pro Bowler through out his career in Denver but will be playing a new position in a new defensive scheme here in Baltimore. the former Bronco defensive captain was brought in to bolster the Ravens pass rush after the loss of up-and-comer Paul Kruger to the Cleveland Browns.
The Baltimore secondary will also be much different from last season with two new safeties in former Raider Michael Huff and Ravens first round draft pick Matt Elam. Also, both starting corners could be different from last season with Lardarius Webb coming off his second ACL surgery and Jimmy Smith expected to garner a bigger role.
The Ravens also traded up in the second round to snag inside linebacker Arthur Brown out of Kansas State. Brown is a favorite to start right in the middle of the Ravens revamped defense. He excels in pass coverage and, although a bit undersized, has the sideline to sideline speed to be a factor vs. the run as well. The team also brought in former Ohio state team captain, linebacker John Simon, in the draft. Simon could potentially see time on defense or special teams this season as well.
On offense the Ravens only huge loss was Anquan Boldin to the 49ers for a sixth round draft pick. the team will look to replace him with receivers already on the roster but they did draft wide receiver Aaron Mellette late in the draft and fullback Kyle Juszczyk out of Harvard could also end up becoming a viable receiving threat.
So, which new Raven are you most excited to see?