The Baltimore Ravens head in to the 2013 NFL Draft with some very glaring and specific needs. The team could conceivably hope for three starters at three very important positions. The team does have contingency plans both on the current roster and, most likely, in the second wave of free agency as well. However, the Ravens could make things a lot easier on themselves by finding the starters they need in the draft next week. Baltimore is currently about 3.5 million under the salary cap and they still have top sign whoever they draft. Another free agent signing could spell the end of the road for another current Raven.
First area of need is left tackle. It doesn't seem that Baltimore will be able to draft a tackle that will be serviceable for day one of the 2013 season. They would have to trade into the mid to early teens to achieve that. They could strike gold in the second round as they did with Osemele but probably not for a left tackle. The most likely scenario is that the Ravens draft a project to groom for the future in the second or third round and make an attempt to re-sign Bryant McKinnie after the draft. On the other hand, if the right player slips, I'm pretty sure that this is a big enough area of need for the Ravens that Ozzie Newsome and company would do everything within their power to bring him in. This may be our most important position to fill thus far but also our hardest to fill.
Next is wide receiver. The Ravens need another dependable possession receiver to line up across from Torrey Smith. Jacoby Jones is great for a home run hitter but he isn't a guy that is going to consistently move the chains to get the Ravens down field on a game winning drive. That is what the Ravens need. Much of this duty will fall on Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson but Joe Flacco has always had a sure handed possession to work with and he will need that again this season. expect the Ravens to use one of their first three picks on a wide receiver.
Lastly is Safety. You can also make the argument that inside linebacker is a position of immediate need but I think the Ravens are happy with the guys they have on the roster and are confident that they can bring in good players in the later rounds or free agency if need be. So far as safety goes however, Expect Baltimore to undoubtedly draft their starting strong safety next week. The Ravens have come out and said they love the safety class in this draft. James Ihedigbo will have some competition come training camp.
Baltimore will be looking for starters at each of these three positions next week in the draft. It is extremely hopeful to think that they will come out with all, or even two out of three players at these positions.Of these three areas of need which do you think is most urgent?