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Should Ravens spend an early-round pick on a tight end?

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Dennis Pitta (injury) and Owen Daniels (free agent) have uncertain futures in Baltimore. Should the Ravens target a tight end in this year's NFL draft as a result?

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Ideally, Dennis Pitta makes a comeback from his second hip injury and never has it pop out again. But the risk is there and it's something he'll have to weigh as the offseason continues.

Though Owen Daniels is 32, he proved he can still be productive as a tight end. But he's about to be a free agent and could wind up heading to Denver to re-join Gary Kubiak, Rick Dennison and Brian Pariani. Of course, that will depend on what happens with Julius Thomas. If the Broncos let Thomas walk, you can bet the Broncos will make a push to bring in Daniels.

If Daniels leaves, the Ravens may seriously need to consider drafting a tight end in the first two rounds. If Pitta has to hang it up for medical reasons, the Ravens will be left with only Crockett Gillmore at the position. Gillmore came on strong at the end of the season and will be a reliable piece to Baltimore's offense, at least through the duration of his rookie contract. But the Ravens may be in a position where they need to grab a top-notch dual threat tight end.

The lone first-round option is Minnesota's Maxx Williams. Williams is a high-caliber receiver and blocker, the most complete tight end of this year's group. There's a clear reason why he's the only tight end getting a first-round grade right now.

But in the second round, the Ravens could possibly grab Miami's Clive Walford. He's 6-foot-4 and 258 pounds and has proven to be a solid receiving option. Questions do exist about whether he can block at the next level. His build suggests he can; he's just not as tall as elite tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. However, his frame is similar to the aforementioned Julius Thomas, who is expected to break the bank with whichever team he signs with in free agency.

The Ravens are in a position to go in just about any direction in the first two rounds. They'll stick to the best player available strategy, of course, even if that guy isn't at a position of need.

But you have to wonder where the tight ends will fall on their board given the uncertainty at the position. It could be a case where one is taken much earlier than you'd think.