The Baltimore Ravens are by no means a bad team, but they clearly need a push over the top. With the trade deadline approaching, the Ravens need to look long and hard at making some under-the-radar moves to maintain their dominance over the AFC North.
Problem areas for the Ravens include their pass rush, run defense, pass coverage and offensive line.
They won't be able to fill all these problems, but finding a contributor to improve any of these areas would help ensure the Ravens a playoff spot.
These three moves would help the Ravens do just that.
The Ravens clearly have no intention of playing Bryant McKinnie. The offensive line has struggled all year, yet their best pass blocker has remained on the sideline.
Such a move would make sense for both teams. The Ravens don't seem interested in giving McKinnie a chance to reclaim his starting job, so they would get more value by trading him than just letting him languish on the bench.
The Cardinals, on the other hand, would get a huge upgrade at left tackle for a low price.
The Ravens should look mostly at draft picks in exchange for McKinnie, but defensive tackle David Carter could be a player worth looking at as well. He's played well in limited snaps and has some upside to work with.
Another player worth looking into is offensive tackle Nate Potter. That he can't find the field despite the Cardinals' having the league's worst offensive line is fairly concerning, but he had the foot speed and size of a left tackle coming out of the draft.
Ultimately, the Ravens should try to get a third-round pick for McKinnie, but that might be too steep. A minimum of a fifth-round pick and a role player like Carter or Potter would be enough to help the Ravens.
This is not a roster move, necessarily, but keeping Deonte Thompson active on game day could really add some flexibility to this offense.
The Ravens are too strict in establishing a depth chart on offense. Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith are clearly the starters, followed by Jacoby Jones. Tandon Doss is the only other receiver to get time, and he is clearly the fourth receiver.
What the Ravens should be doing is exploiting the matchups given to them. Against a slower group of defensive backs, a package of Thompson, Jones and Smith would be deadly. Against smaller defensive backs, Boldin, Smith, Jones and Doss could strike fear into defenses.
Thompson has proven in the preseason and in his few real offensive snaps that he is an immense talent. He deserves to be on the field more. He would bring more flexibility to this offense, something that can only help a struggling Joe Flacco.
Jason Butt of CBS reports that Danny Gorrer has been released by the Seattle Seahawks.
Seahawks release Danny Gorrer. Have to wonder if Ravens front office is interested in bringing him back.
— Jason Butt (@JasonButtCBS) October 30, 2012
This couldn't be better news for the Ravens, who could use another quality cornerback. Gorrer excelled in limited action last year, and could do so again for the Ravens this year.
Gorrer would step in as the dimeback right away. With his size and physicality, he would help the Ravens have among the biggest group of corners in the league. This size would enable the team to run more press coverage than ever, which would help both the current group of corners and the pass rush.
Finally, Gorrer would also provide valuable help on special teams.
Why the Ravens cut Danny Gorrer made no sense at the time, and it doesn't make sense in retrospect. They've been granted a rare opportunity to make up for that mistake. They need to take that opportunity.