The Ravens received two compensatory picks today, one in the fourth round and another in the fifth. Ozzie Newsome now has a total of eight drafts picks to work with, rather than only six.
This is good news for Ravens fans, after watching five unrestricted free agents sign with other teams last week. Depending on how those guys perform next season, expect the Ravens to have even more compensatory picks next year.
Let's see what kind of flexibility two extra picks can give in the draft, shall we?
This pick is by no means a lock but it seems to make the most sense. The reasoning is simple, the Ravens need both a starting left guard for 2012 and a starting center for 2013. Peter Konz fits the bill.
Playing next to Matt Birk for his rookie year will allow Konz to develop as a pro, and it also buys the Ravens time to find another starting left guard. Drafting a guard in the middle rounds of the draft for depth and to be a potential future starter are all the more likely if Konz is the pick at 29. Remember, the Ravens got Marshall Yanda in the third round, and he's now one of the best right guards in the league.
But will Konz be available for the Ravens at the end of round one? Most likely he will be after the Packers signing of center Jeff Saturday last week, but it also wouldn't shock me if he wasn't available here. Keep your fingers crossed, Ravens fans.
Other Potential Options at 29: ILB Dont'a Hightower (Alabama), DE/OLB Andre Branch (Clemson), DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus (Illinois), WR Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech), OT Mike Adams (Ohio State).
A lot of Ravens fans expect Paul Kruger to replace Jarrett Johnson as the full time starter opposite Terrell Suggs next year, but he can't. He's just not a complete enough player right now. He'll still be a solid third down pass rusher, but the Ravens need to add someone else to help pick up the slack that Jarrett Johnson's departure will create.
Ronnell Lewis is a guy that could very well be available when the Ravens pick at the end of the second round, and he fills a considerable need. He's played both defensive end and outside linebacker for Oklahoma throughout his productive career, and is strong against both the run and as a pass rusher. That's the combination the Ravens need at outside linebacker in their hybrid 3-4 defense.
If Lewis is the pick in round two, expect him to challenge for the starting spot and win it next year as a rookie. Also expect to see Ra. Lewis and Ro. Lewis on No. 52 and No. 56 next year, just like Ja. Lewis and Je. Lewis when the Ravens made a Super Bowl run in 2000.
Other Potential Options at 60: OG Amini Silatolu (Midwestern State), OL James Brown (Troy), HB Doug Martin (Boise State), DE Jared Crick (Nebraska), DE/OLB Vinny Curry (Marshall), DE/OLB Shea McClellan (Boise State), DE Billy Winn (Boise State), WR Brian Quick (Appalachin State).
Ozzie Newsome has stated that offensive line, pass rusher and wide receiver are the areas of biggest concern for the Ravens this off season. In round one we addressed the offensive line, in round two we addressed the pass rush, and here's your wide receiver in round three.
Tommy Street is 6'5" 215 pounds and he ran 4.40 second forty at the combine last month. That ain't right.
He's a bit raw and has trouble running routes, but a little extra practice time with Anquan Boldin should fix that. If Streeter ends up in Baltimore, expect him to challenge Tandon Doss and Laquan Wiliams for the third wide receiver spot next year. His size could make him a huge asset in the red zone as well, and having another speedy receiver to stretch the field could take Joe Flacco and the offense to the next level.
Other Potential Options at 91: OG Brandon Washington (Miami), C Mike Brewster (Ohio State), C Phillip Blake (Baylor), WR Nick Toon (Wisconsin), WR Marvin McNutt (Iowa), HB Lamichael James (Oregon), S Markelle Martin (Oklahoma State), S George Ioka (Boise State), LB Sean Spence (Miami), DE/OLB Bruce Irvin (West Virginia).
Even if the Ravens can nab Konz in round one, they won't be done addressing the offensive line. Looney could be an eventual starter at left guard after Konz is moved back to center, while adding some solid depth along the line.
At 6'3" 309 pounds, Looney is surprisingly athletic and very strong in the run game. He has no problem getting upfield to block for running backs. He may need some development with his pass blocking footwork, but he wouldn't be expected to start right away, so he'd have time to get coached up in that regard.
Janzen Jackson won't be Ed Reed's replacement but he could be Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura's. Expect the Ravens to add a safety at some point in the draft to fill out the depth chart and play on special teams.
Jackson could go before this pick just as easily as he could go after. A former starter at Tennessee, he was dismissed for off-the-feild issues and transferred to McNeese State.
He's certainly a fast and physical talent and has some upside, but he'll be a bit of a project at the next level. The Ravens ignored some red flags with Jimmy Smith last season, and they may not be afraid to do so again to fill a need at free safety.
The Ravens failed to bring in Ted Ginn Jr. in free agency and the David Reed experiment seems like it's over, especially considering his ACL tear.
They have a few guys that can return kicks like Laquan Williams and Lardarius Webb, but Webb has become too important in the secondary to risk an injury in the return game. They need to bring in another returner to compete with Laquan Williams and possibly Tandon Doss.
Chris Rainey doesn't really have a set position and is very under-sized for the NFL at 5'8" 180 pounds, but the kid can return kicks. He's also blocked six kicks in his collegiate career and has done okay catching the ball out of the back field.
Vontaze Burflict was once thought of as a top 15-20 pick. Those days are over. In fact, a lot of scouts are saying that they wouldn't even draft him...period.
He bombed at the combine and his pro day. He had a disappointing 2011 season, and he was absolutely atrocious during his interviews.
So why would the Ravens even want him? Well for one, he wants the Ravens. He made it a point to express his desire to play with Ray Lewis next season and thinks he could benefit from learning from him. The question is, do the Ravens think so?
If he's still around in the sixth round and the Ravens have addressed most of their needs, there isn't much of a risk in drafting him. He's a physical and aggressive linebacker with solid upside. Being drafted into a strong locker room with veteran leadership could turn his attitude around and give him a chance at a solid NFL career. Then again, he could just as easily be an absolute disaster.
Corey Redding will be replaced with Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee next season, but who will replace them on the depth chart? Probably a late round rookie.
Kheeston Randall is an interesting prospect for the Ravens if he's available in a late round. He played nose tackle at times for the Longhorns, but would end up playing 3-4 defensive end if he lands in Baltimore.
Randall is a non factor on passing downs, which is fine as Pernell McPhee usually comes in on third down anyway. He's very solid against the run and holds up blocks extremely well. He probably won't ever be a full time starter, but he could see some playing time on first and second down this season if Arthur Jones can't stay healthy.