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Ravens News 3/11: Comp Pick Potential and more

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NFL: JAN 09 Steelers at Ravens Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ravens Remain Committed to Several Young Players for Next Season - Todd Karpovich

Center Trystan Colon

Colon will compete for the starting job at center. He’s played fairly well during his limited opportunities. Colon is valuable because he can also play guard and he provides valuable depth to the offensive line.

Inside linebacker Kristian Welch

Welch played himself into the rotation at linebacker because of his solid practice habits. He was also stout on special teams, where he produced the team’s second-most tackles with nine, tying Tylan Wallace.

Safety Geno Stone

Stone is another player who worked himself into the rotation with his solid play. He played in 15 games, including one start, and had 17 tackles (12 solo), one tackle for a loss, one quarterback hit, one pass defensed, and one interception — the first of his career. He also Added four tackles on special teams.

AFC free agency needs: Bengals, Titans, Ravens among teams that must address offensive line - Kevin Patra

Baltimore Ravens

2021 record: 8-9 · T-3rd in AFC North

Needs: DB, OL, DL

Cap space: $15,650,982

Injuries stretched the Ravens’ corner crew thin in 2021, underscoring the need to get more youthful on the outside behind Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. Adding a play-making safety in free agency (i.e., Justin Reid or Marcus Maye) and drafting a young corner early would solidify the back end. Upgrades along the O-line are needed after struggles sideswiped the Ravens’ offensive plans last season. The interior O-line was already a need, and tackle became an issue with Alejandro Villanueva retiring. With Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams and Justin Houston all headed toward free agency, there is also a need in the trenches on the defensive side of the ball. The run D wouldn’t be the same if Baltimore lost either Campbell or Williams inside.

2023 Compensatory Picks Potential - Nick Korte

Baltimore Ravens

With 20 pending UFAs, it looks to be business as normal in Baltimore in their regular emphasis to collect compensatory picks. Among the contributors from last season set to hit free agency are Bradley Bozeman, Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, DeShon Elliott, Anthony Averett, Jimmy Smith, Patrick Ricard, and Sammy Watkins. Even if the Ravens re-sign a few of their UFAs, they have plenty of room to max out their 2023 comp picks by letting others walk as CFAs. Potential: Very High

Separating potential Ravens free agency targets into tiers: Right player, right price or pipe dream? - Jeff Zrebiec

Right player, right price

Morgan Moses, OT (Jets): He’s been consistent and durable and is coming off a solid year with the Jets. Moses probably won’t come cheap and if he signs, he’d almost certainly do it as the starting right tackle. But there’s a lot to be gained for the Ravens by adding a quality and reliable performer on the edge, especially with Ronnie Stanley and Ja’Wuan James both being health questions.

Aim high, but don’t get hopes up

Tyrann Mathieu, S (Chiefs): Mathieu seems to be the one free agent that the Ravens fan base has to have and safety is the one position Baltimore has consistently spent on in free agency over the years. Mathieu does check a lot of boxes for the Ravens. Still, he’ll have his share of suitors and the Ravens will have younger and probably cheaper options.

Taking a flier

O.J. Howard, TE (Buccaneers): There was a lot of buzz about the Ravens’ interest in Howard ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft. He had a relatively disappointing run in Tampa and injuries were a big part of that. Howard had just 14 catches in 17 games last season. The Ravens wouldn’t need him to be a front-line tight end, just a solid pass-catching complement to Andrews.

Grading the 2022 NFL free agency class by position - Sam Monson

OFFENSIVE TACKLE | POSITION GROUP GRADE: B-

Terron Armstead is one of the best left tackles in football — when healthy — and that’s a significant caveat for him. In a nine-year NFL career, he has never played over 1,000 snaps in a single season, even including the playoffs. In 2021, he played in eight games and allowed 12 total pressures and just one sack.

He is one of the few elite left tackles in the league, but his injury history and durability concerns will likely take a percentage off his contract unless there are enough teams desperate for the upgrade.

Duane Brown has been excellent throughout his career, but last season he posted his lowest PFF grade (71.5) since his rookie year. At 36, this is likely the start of his decline, but the play of Andrew Whitworth and Jason Peters deep into their 30s might land him one more healthy contract.

Right tackle has a few capable options for starters, but no players would be upgrades for every team.

2022 NFL Draft: Trevor Penning headlines five small-school prospects who could land in first three rounds - Chris Trapasso

Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota

CBS Sports prospect rank: 315 | Position rank: 63

Waletzko feels a lot like Spencer Brown from a year ago. The Northern Iowa star offensive tackle had a legendary workout at his pro day and was picked by the Bills in the back-end of the third round. At nearly 6-8 and just over 300 pounds, Waletzko is built almost identically to Brown and plays with the same type of effortless athleticism as a blocker.

It’s rare to see him on the turf thanks to his wide base and requisite knee bend. Is he a people-mover just yet? No. And building that strength to move NFL defensive linemen will take time. But nearly an 86-inch wingspan — much longer than Brown’s — cannot be coached. The 30-inch vertical confirms Waletzko’s explosiveness, and he works hard resetting his hands in pass protection.

These type of enormous, athletic specimen do not last past the third round in today’s offensive tackle-needy NFL.