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Forget free agency; 2018 NFL draft is the Ravens hope for the future

NFL Draft Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

“Cut him. Cut him. Maybe re-sign him.” “Save the money here, or there, and sign this person.”

The discussions from every Ravens news site, including our own. We all have opinions on what should and should not occur for the Ravens to right the ship and salvage this upcoming season, while also setting themselves up for the future. But with right around $10 million in cap space, if they cut darn near everybody, I don’t see the ‘splash signing’ setting the team for a post-season chance; that will come from the 2018 NFL draft.

A fresh crop of NFL talent is waiting for their new, respective uniforms and it is up to the Ravens to find those with the best skills to push them from middling 8-8 or 9-7, into the 10-6 to 12-4 territory.

Consistently, the Ravens are finding ‘solid contributors’. Ask any NFL team if they can win with star power alone, they will all agree with, “No.” This is good the Ravens can find a guy like Chris Moore, capable of playing a solid WR2 or WR3 role and also producing serious skill in special teams, but you can’t win on these contributions alone. You do need some sort of star power to win. Rather than purchasing them on the market for 100-120% price, draft a player that will finally pan out.

Easier said than done, I know. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t true.

The Ravens need a skill-position star. That’s clear as day. But for once, rather than paying for these incredible talents, find one in the draft and please, please, develop them into a threat.

If you cannot find a chain-moving, pass-catching threat, your chances of success are limited. The Ravens need to find this player, and while Jarvis Landry or Jimmy Graham will be possibilities on the open market, the Ravens don’t have the cap space. If Jarvis looks for $12-14 million a year, Baltimore can’t bid. Not unless they backload the deal, like they’ve done for years now, kicking the can down the road. But that doesn’t help the future, it’s already contractually locked in.

Baltimore cannot thrive in the NFL without a pass-catcher. Yes, there is a chance of signing one, but for once, they must draft a player and develop him, or never will they find a little breathing room for money down the road.