The Baltimore Ravens 2014 NFL Draft has come and gone leaving us now to see how the rookies will fare come September, but between now and then here is an excessively early look at positions that the Ravens may seek to address in the 2015 NFL Draft.
DT/DE: Haloti Ngata will either sign an extension, retire, or get cut. That's two out of three situations where Ngata is gone. Even if he signs an extension there's no such thing as too many young, talented D-Linemen as Ozzie and the Ravens front office demonstrated last year by drafting Timmy Jernigan and Brent Urban. Some top prospects here are Michael Bennett of Ohio State and Leonard Williams of USC.
OLB: Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil are in their 30's, Pernell McPhee (who I'm expecting to have a big year) will be a free agent next year and Courtney Upshaw will be a free agent in 2016.The Ravens may decide to start grooming an eventual replacement to Terrell Suggs sooner rather than later. Some prospects to consider are Vic Beasley from Clemson and Dante Fowler from Florida.
WR: Despite the fact that Torrey Smith will probably be resigned there's the possibility that this is Steve Smith's last year in the NFL and Marlon Brown, Aaron Mellette (who has recently been released), and Michael Campanaro aren't able to be a #2 receiver. Despite being less talented than 2014's wide receiver crop this years' draft should have some quality prospects such as Amari Cooper from Alabama, the talented-yet-troubled Dorial Green-Beckham from Eastern Illinois, and Stefon Diggs from the University of Maryland.
RB: Ray Rice could be gone after 2014 and not to belittle Bernard Pierce or Lorenzo Taliaferro but they will need to show the ability to be a workhorse back like Rice 2014 to keep the Ravens from addressing the position more intensely in next year's draft. If not then the 2015 RB crop has some promising young backs such as Todd Gurley from Georgia and T.J. Yeldon from Alabama to satisfy the Ravens' needs.
Some dark horse considerations for the Ravens may be CB as Lardarius Webb needs to have a bounce back 2014 or else may end up being a cap cut. Some prospects to consider are Ifo Ekpre-Olomu from Oregon and P.J. Williams of Florida State. OG as Marshal Yanda will be a Free Agent in 2016 and he's going to be 30 years old in September. Some prospects to consider are Tre Jackson of Florida State and A.J. Cann of South Carolina.
It's far too early to speculate who the Ravens will draft next year before they even put on pads for Training Camp, but it's always nice to have a look ahead and hey, Kiper's doing it.