Baltimore Ravens: 5 Players to Target in the 2012 NFL Draft
Over the years, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has made some excellent draft choices in Baltimore, selecting players such as: Michael Oher, Joe Flacco, Haloti Ngata, Ben Grubbs, and Torrey Smith.
But with star players beginning to age, however, Newsome will be looking to find their eventual replacements.
Here are five players he must target.
5. Ryan Broyles
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Last offseason, the Ravens brought in wide receiver Lee Evans to play in the slot and he was incredibly underwhelming. The only memory of him from this season was his recent dropped pass in the AFC Championship.
Broyles, who was one of the most productive receivers in college football (83 catches for 1157 yards and 10 touchdowns) until a torn ACL ended his season, will likely be available in the middle rounds.
Is receiver the Ravens' biggest need? Maybe not.
But as the New York Giants just proved, you can never have too many good wide receivers.
4. Cordy Glenn
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Cordy Glenn is one of the most highly-touted offensive line prospects in the 2012 NFL draft, and he could help the Ravens in a number of ways.
First, current Ravens guard Ben Grubbs is a unrestricted free agent. If he elects to leave Baltimore, Glenn could slide right in at left guard and start from day one.
Second, it is undecided as to whether tackle Bryant McKinnie will return next season. If he does not, then Glenn could then battle Jah Reid for the starting left tackle position.
Whatever happens with Grubbs and McKinnie, Cordy Glenn would offer tremendous versatility and would be a constant contributor to the offensive line for years to come.
3. Mike Brewster
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This one is more based on need than anything else.
Matt Birk, this season's Walter Payton Man of the Year award winner, will be great person for the rest of his life. However, he will be unable to play football forever and drafting his eventual successor now would be a good idea.
Ohio State's Mike Brewster is a very good center who should be available in the middle rounds and could develop at his own pace until Birk decides to retires.
A good center and a great person. Could you really ask for more?
2. Zack Brown
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Zach Brown is as athletic as they come. He is a versatile linebacker who could contribute in many places on the Ravens defense.
With Ray Lewis aging, having a speedy linebacker learn from one of the best ever couldn't hurt. While Brown learns from Lewis, he could come in on third downs and contribute in pass coverage next season.
Additionally, with Jarrett Johnson set to hit free agency, Brown could compete with Sergio Kindle for the starting outside linebacker spot, if Johnson elects to leave.
In either situation the Ravens would be adding a talented and athletic linebacker.
What's not to like?
1. Vontaze Burfict
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Not sure if you remember, but in 1996, the Ravens selected a linebacker with supposed character issues.
His name was Ray Lewis.
And the rest was history.
So could there be a better pick in the 2012 draft than another linebacker with character concerns that goes by the name of Vontaze Burfict? I don't think so.
Burfict is known for two things: violent hits and/or numerous personal fouls.
If he comes to Baltimore and learns how to control his emotions, he could become one of the games best linebackers. If he is selected by another team he could be out of the league in a few years.
Hopefully for him and the Ravens he is still available in the first-round when Baltimore is on the clock.