NFL

Offseason review: Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens' draft definitely was not boring.
The Ravens' draft definitely was not boring.
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Adam Caplan

Adam Caplan is our newest NFL reporter/insider at FOXSports.com. He has spent the past 10 seasons covering the league, specializing in player personnel, injuries and contracts.

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Pre-draft needs

OFFSEASON REVIEWS

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NFC North: | | |

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CB, WR, OT, G, OLB, DE, SS

Draft class

Round 1: Jimmy Smith, CB
Round 2: Torrey Smith, WR
Round 3: Jah Reid, OT
Round 4: Tandon Doss, WR
Round 5: Chykie Brown, CB
Round 5: Pernell McPhee, DE
Round 6: Tyrod Taylor, QB
Round 7: Anthony Allen, RB

Potential free agents of note

Marc Bulger, QB
Le’Ron McClain, FB
Jalen Parmele, RB
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR
Donte' Stallworth, WR
Jared Gaither, OT
Marshal Yanda, G
Chris Chester, C
Jameel McClain, ILB
Prescott Burgess, OLB
Fabian Washington, CB
Chris Carr, CB
Josh Wilson, CB
Dawan Landry, SS
Tom Zbikowski, S
Haruki Nakamura, S

Chad Ochocinco

TAKE A BREAK

NFL players find new ways to pass the time without football.

Post-draft needs

G, SS, OLB (depth), OT (depth), DE (depth), CB (depth)

Analysis

The Ravens had two big needs coming into this year's draft: wide receiver and cornerback.

General manager/executive vice president Ozzie Newsome is known as one of the NFL’s best talent evaluators, but he failed to address the receiver position sufficiently last season. And because of that, Baltimore’s passing game was easier to defend, especially down field. However, Newsome did his best this time around to address the issue with the selection of Torrey Smith in the second round. Smith, who put together a very solid NFL Scouting Combine workout, will be expected to eventually replace veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason in the starting lineup. Fourth-round pick Tandon Doss, who has good size, will compete for a backup job this season, but could make an impact as a special teams returner.

Newsome addressed the offensive tackle issue with the addition of third-round pick Jah Reid. His selection will enable the team to keep Michael Oher at left tackle. If the team re-signs Marshal Yanda, who played mostly at right tackle last season, he would compete for the starting right guard job.

The Ravens could wind up looking for a new starting fullback if Le’Ron McClain becomes an unrestricted free agent once the new league year starts. If last year’s rules are in effect, McClain would be a restricted free agent. If 2009’s rules are used, McClain would be unrestricted.

On defense, it was expected that Newsome would address the depth issue at outside linebacker since starters Terrell Suggs and Jarret Johnson played 2,061 combined snaps out of a possible 2,086 last season, but that didn’t transpire. And with the with the realistic possibility that 2010 second-round pick Sergio Kindle will miss another full season, the team will have to look toward free agency to prevent Suggs and Johnson from wearing down.

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Newsome addressed the cornerback issue with first-round pick Jimmy Smith. The defensive back was widely believed to be the best coverman available for this draft, but off-the-field issues pushed him down in the first round. Smith will be expected to compete for a starting job this season. Depth at cornerback could still be an issue going forward if veterans Chris Carr and Josh Wilson are not re-signed. Should one or both come back, the pressure won’t be there to get Smith in the lineup right away. Strong safety will become a big issue if the team does not re-sign starter Dawan Landry. Landry could become an unrestricted free agent if the rules from 2009 are in effect.

Tagged: Ravens, Chris Carr, Chris Chester, Dawan Landry, Josh Wilson, Marshal Yanda, Jameel McClain, Jimmy Smith, Jah Reid, Torrey Smith, Tandon Doss

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