After Ray Lewis retired in the confetti of Super Bowl XLVII, the Ravens had a hole at Inside Linebacker for the first time since 1996.
Dannell Ellerbe was signed to a $35 million contract with the Dolphins the second day of free agency (a contract that has blown up in the Dolphins' face if I may add). The Ravens had Jameel McClain and Josh Bynes in house, but neither of those options would provide the same caliber of play that was needed to fill the gap on the defense. Rolando McClain was signed in 2013 to a one-year contract with no guaranteed money, as the Ravens knew he came with a fair bit of risk.
In the second round of the 2013 draft the Ravens traded with the Seattle Seahawks to draft Arthur Brown. After seeing limited time a season ago, Brown hasn't played a snap yet in 2014
Daryl Smith was a success in 2013, leading the team in tackles and breaking Ray Lewis' record of pass deflections. The Ravens would sign Smith to a four-year contract in the offseason.Then the Ravens took C.J. Mosley 17th overall this past May. The move was questioned by some, as the Ravens could have drafted an offensive tackle, wide receiver, safety, or corner. I think it's safe to say that with Mosley at fifth in the NFL with tackles, the Ravens' leader in tackles, the first Ravens rookie to start Week One since Haloti Ngata,and on the inside track to win Defensive Rookie of the Year the pick is no longer in question.
The Ravens needed to fill Ray Lewis' spot after he retired. Daryl Smith filled the spot last year and C.J. Mosley (and I haven't given up on Arthur Brown) looks to fill up the spot at ILB for a long time.