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With corners locked up, Ravens can focus on other positions

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Now that the Ravens have given cornerback Jimmy Smith an extension, they can focus on other areas of the team heading into the draft and the second half of free agency.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens recently signed one of their young, talented and physically gifted players in Jimmy Smith to an extension, locking him up for a total of 5 years for a total of $50 million. With other starting cornerback Lardarius Webb having his deal worked out during the offseason, the Ravens have signed their starting corners until at least 2018. While neither player has a Pro Bowl nod to their name, both have been spectacular in their careers with the Ravens so far. Add in the pass rushing unit that dominated last year and a front seven that was stout against the run and you have a really solid defense locked up for quite a long time.

Outside of the major boom this is for the Ravens front office's resume of drafting and developing great players, it opens up the Ravens for a variety of other moves both in the draft and in free agency. Without the need to look towards the future of the secondary, Ozzie Newsome can instead look at adding veteran help where needed on both sides of the ball and bringing in talented young offensive players.

With the 2015 NFL Draft coming next week, the Ravens could identify more offensive targets for them to go after to help quarterback Joe Flacco after his career year in 2014.  With possible looks coming at running back, wide receiver and tight end at the 2015 NFL Draft, the Ravens are in even more of a position of strength to use their best player available mentality. Some of the names we have heard so far are guys like Dorial Green-Beckham, Jaelen Strong, Melvin Gordon, Maxx Williams, and Todd Gurley.

Since the Ravens have a total of 10 draft picks this year, it might even be one of the rare times that we see the Ravens jump up to get a player that they like. While most expect Shane Ray to be long gone, if he starts to slide, it is rumored that the Ravens could easily attack and grab a player that should be a top 10 selection based on talent.

So not only is the signing of Jimmy Smith great for those that love his physical play and improving ability, but for what it means to a team that does it's best work during and after the draft in getting exciting players.