Even after heading to the AFC Divisional round in the 2009-2010 playoffs, the Baltimore Ravens still find themselves with holes in their roster. Every team in the NFL has holes to fill when their season finally comes to an end, but one of the most talked about teams with this subject during the off-season will indeed be the Ravens. How are they going to be able to allow Joe Flacco to take the next step? How will the pass coverage improve? What is the best way to up the low sack total from last season? So here are the Ravens top 3 positional needs for 2010.
1. Wide Receiver
- The fans of the Ravens and everyone within the organization believe that they have found their Quarterback of the future with Joe Flacco. Now the next step in allowing for Joe to be as good as possible is to surround him with players who can make big plays and be more efficient in moving the ball. At the moment, the only WR under contract is Justin Harper, a WR who saw no action this season. Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, Kelley Washington and Demetrius Williams are all Free Agents in some way. It is very likely that we see maybe 1 or 2 of these guys returning next season. Ozzie Newsome and crew must address this problem first and foremost in order to allow Flacco to win those shootouts that the Ravens have had serious trouble with in the past. There are some key Free Agents on the market this year such as Brandon Marshall of Denver, Malcom Floyd of San Diego and even Terrell Owens of Buffalo. This years draft does not seem to have so much first round talent, but the 2nd and 3rd rounds will definitely be WR heavy. Expect the Ravens to be aggressive in Free Agency while adding depth and more targets early in the draft.
Other needs after the jump.
2. Defensive End
- The 2009-2010 season was one of the worst seasons for sacks and QB pressure for the Ravens. Baltimore just recently signed OLB/DE Terrell Suggs to a multi-year deal and Suggs was only able to put up 4.5 sacks on the year. 13 year veteran Trevor Pryce is serviceable, but for how long? The Ravens have great starters and depth at the Defensive Tackle position, but almost nothing outside of Pryce on the ends. Last years 2nd round pick, Paul Kruger, is considered to be a great pass rusher but rarely saw the field this year. However, coach Harbaugh believes that Kruger will be great, but needs to put on weight and maybe have more of a special teams impact. Pro Bowl Defensive Tackle, Haloti Ngata spent much of the season playing the RE position but was rarely seen in taking down the QB. Ngata should be starting at NT next year with Gregg behind him, and Suggs needs to put his hand in the dirt more often. There are some key Free Agents this year in the DE position such as Julius Peppers of Carolina and Aaron Kampman of Green Bay. Money is always an issue with big time players like this, but still a possibility to bring one of these guys in. The Ravens will also most likely address DE in the draft as there is good talent that will most likely fall to the 3rd-4th rounds.
- Many will disagree with CB being the 3rd biggest need of the off-season, but look closer at the position. First off, the Ravens pass rush was below average this year, and when you allow any QB in the NFL 4-6 seconds to get rid of the ball, they will nearly always find an open WR. In the beginning of the season, CB looked to be the biggest need with many teams lighting up the Secondary. Ed Reed was not himself this year and Dawan Landry was coming off a serious neck injury, so that played a factor in some of our mistakes. Dominique Foxworth struggled at times early in the season, but turned it on in the 2nd half of the year and played fairly well. Rookie Lardarius Webb was a breathe of fresh air until a tragic knee injury late in the season left him on the sidelines and might even sideline him through mid-season of next year. So I feel that the Ravens have done a good job of bringing in two guys to be our starters for a while, but depth is the issue. Back-ups Chris Carr and Frank Walker were very shaky at times and drew alot of penalties that hurt our team. Outside of those 4, there really is not much left at CB. The Ravens will need to add depth to their nickel and dime packages in order to be more efficient next season, but finishing the season 8th overall in pass defense is very good considering what the Ravens were working with at times.
Other Positions to be Considered
- Middle Linebacker
- Free Safety
- Tight End