Once again general manager Ozzie Newsome has impressed us all with his draft expertise. The Ravens picked up solid talent, and even better potential in Matt Elam and Arthur Brown, and were able to address needs at tackle, guard, and receiver with Brandon Williams, Ryan Jensen, and Aaron Mellette. Well done overall Ozzie, I applaud you.
What I'm most excited for, however, is the stellar defense we should come out with next year. There had been concerns before the offseason that the Ravens defense was getting older, slower, and as injury prone as Greg Oden. However, good old Ed Reed is gone, Ray Lewis has retired, and we have added Elvis Dumervil and Michael Huff, among other defensive powers.
While I am still nostalgic for the Reed-Lewis defense I watched for the better half of the last decade, there is something exciting about the concept of coaching a new group of guys (think The Longest Yard, The Little Giants) who all bring something to the table. Every safety, linebacker, tackle, and cornerback who dons a Ravens jersey understands the legacy they are living up to; to retaining the reputation that we have the baddest defense in the league. Understandably, the Ravens haven't been able to fulfill that role every year, but I think they are heading in the right direction with this new roster. If you watch Matt Elam's highlight video you will see a fire and passion that gets you up and out of your chair. Intangibles such as these are what truly make great defenses. That passion is contagious, and will produce deadly results when all our guys are fired up on the field. Not to say Rex Ryan doesn't deserve any credit for the system he created in Baltimore, but it is very clear that when the Ravens defense is together, motivated, and energized there are few offenses they can't stop.
I am looking forward to cheering the names of the aforementioned rookies, to welcoming them to Baltimore. I am looking forward to watching a brand new defense in action every weekend, following the transition of these players as they enter the big league. They have been drafted by the greatest team in the NFL, but the dream is just beginning for these guys.