The Baltimore Ravens may have positioned themselves the best in the draft. They sit about mid way through the pack, have re signed key players on the team, and have brought on other positions to help make a push towards another Super Bowl run. Steve Smith provides a fiery competitor, along with a very quick and elusive wide receiver threat; both from the slot position and on the outside. Owen Daniels, if he can stay healthy, can block effectively as a tight end, and can also become a main target in the red zone. Not to mention the Ravens have Dennis Pitta at full health coming into the off season, who has built quite a rapport with franchise quarterback, Joe Flacco. The Ray Rice dilemma may become quite a quandary in the future, but just for insurance, Baltimore went out and signed Justin Forsett to provide depth at the running back position.
The NFL Draft Daily doesn’t see too many weaknesses on the Ravens roster. Baltimore does lack the play making ability at safety they used to have with Ed Reed. Last years rookie, Matt Elam, was supposed to fill that position, but it still has yet to be seen if the former Florida Gator can become an impact player in the NFL. An inside/outside wide receiver may become top priority. Even though the Ravens have Torrey Smith and Steve Smith, a great ‘run after catch’ receiver with the ability to create first downs is sorely needed on their offense. With practically the freedom to choose as they please, the best safety or wide receiver on the board should become top priority when their name is called. It is has also been discussed that Baltimore may want to move up in the draft, having the ammo to do so with six picks in the first four rounds.
Marqise Lee is the player that the NFL Draft Daily, think the Ravens may covet with their pick. Lee was largely considered the best wide receiver in the nation in 2012, but had somewhat of a down year in 2013 with inconsistent quarterback play at USC , as well as dealing with nagging injuries the whole season. Lee would provide the dual threat receiver they need to play both the inside and outside positions in their offense. The receiver is an explosive, quick cut play maker, who is a natural hands catcher and a born touchdown scorer. A few other players who may be available in the later rounds that Baltimore may key on are safeties like Ed Reynolds, or Marqise Lee’s teammate at USC, safety Dion Bailey. Both are considered hard hitters and would fill the box extremely well as they allow Elam to roam around at the free safety position.
Draft day will become intriguing for Baltimore fans to pay attention to. The Ravens may covet a prospect more then others and could make the move up to grab them. Could safeties like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor receive interest? Who knows. Ozzie Newsome and the crew will not be able to keep the fans waiting for long with the draft being nearly a month away. Lets see how aggressive the Ravens want to be in order to regain their dominance in the AFC North division.
This article is one in a series, published daily, providing analysis, insight and predictions leading up to the NFL draft and beyond.
Commentary by Justin Huffman