Now that the Senior Bowl has concluded, those not involved in Super Bowl festivities can truly start thinking about next season.
While the scouting combine begins on February 20 and the NFL Draft begins on April 25, the real process of evaluating players began months ago.
There are always players who see their "stock" rise or fall during Senior Bowl week. To that, I ask if a players' stock can drastically rise or fall in one week, what was the point of them playing for an entire season?
Of course the combine and bowl games are important, but people put too much emphasis on those elements of the process.
Is a player a quick study? Is he a proven performer? Is he a team player? Can he make the big play under the most pressure? That's what really matters.
For a team like the Ravens that has made it to three conference championship games and a Super Bowl within five years of having a new head coach and a new quarterback, the draft represents an opportunity to reload, not rebuild.
Replacing retiring players or players who are close to retirement is the goal now. Baltimore has proven once again in 2012 that it has depth. Now the key is replenishing that depth.