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Despite having top-10 talent, the Ravens are the opposite of the Patriots

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Who says that the team isn't working with talent?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When you see the Ravens and where they are in the standings, you would think that they have a dearth of talent. After all, with talent comes a good team.

But you'd be wrong if that's your logic. In fact, the Ravens have the second-most top ten positional players in the league, this according to Pro Football Focus. The agency held nine Ravens' players in high regard, and the only team with more players receiving such an honor was the New England Patriots, with ten.

The Patriots are currently undefeated, while the Ravens are arguably the worst team in the NFL. The disparity in where these two teams lie in the record books is a testament to the importance of coaching. The Patriots are doing something right with their talent, and the Ravens obviously aren't.

While we consistently say things like "In Ozzie We Trust", or never have any doubt in Harbaugh, the stats beg the question; are the Ravens doing things right?

Think about it, the Patriots are a perennial powerhouse, simply because they recognize the skills and abilities of players and know how to use them to their best potential. Take for example, Julian Edelman. The receiver went from being a mediocre quarterback at a mediocre football program, to a versatile do-it-all returner/wide receiver/cornerback who is arguably a top-10 receiver. The Patriots organization has done this same thing with countless other players, with names like Danny Woodhead and Dion Lewis coming to mind. These players might not be the best in the league, but they make their team work. Belichick took what might be bench fodder on another team, and turned that into gold for his team.

On the other hand, the Ravens haven't exactly been on the forefront of player development recently. While Ozzie Newsome has selected some great defensive players, the Ravens can never claim that they have developed a great receiver, this despite spending multiple early-round picks on the position. In addition, despite many draft selections, the secondary has been a revolving door these past few seasons, with Jimmy Smith being the only homegrown constant.

Now certainly Ozzie isn't a bad GM, he's actually one of the best around. But he isn't infallible, no one is. It's time we start recognizing that our GM has made some mistakes, with a patchwork secondary and giving a franchise quarterback no weapons being some of the most glaring gaffes. While there's no doubt that the 'Wizard of Oz' has grabbed some great playmakers over the years, he also has his faults. For Ozzie, he's got his work cut out for him in this year's crucial draft where the Ravens will likely have a high pick. Perhaps he can take a page from what Bill is doing up North.

While the team isn't enjoying success currently, fans can (sort of) rest easy knowing that the team has a stockpile of talent, particularly at the following positions.

PFF's Top 10 Positional Players

  • WR: Steve Smith, Sr. (3rd)
  • TE: Maxx Williams (5th)
  • OG: Marshal Yanda (2nd)
  • C: Jeremy Zuttah (10th)
  • 3-4 OLB: Elvis Dumervil (6th)
  • DT: Brandon Williams (4th)
  • ILB: C.J. Mosley (9th)
  • S: Will Hill (7th)
  • K: Justin Tucker (2nd)

With a squad like this, the wins will have to come eventually. You're looking at a group of very young but promising players. The Ravens are certainly in a transition period, and it's going to be awkward at times, but we'll push through. Once the Ravens complete this metamorphosis, they'll be a force to be reckoned with.