The NFL draft is rapidly approaching, and football fans are wondering which player will fall to which team.
One of the more intriguing teams is the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens have lots of holes to fill going into the offseason, ranging from the offensive line to the defensive backfield.
In typical Baltimore fashion, general manager Ozzie Newsome didn’t panic, and let the chips fall in free agency. Looking brilliant, Newsome came up with a younger and deeper secondary, as well as a better center to anchor the offensive line and a stellar linebacking corps.
In the draft, the Ravens will not be looking for a quarterback; especially after the success that was had with Joe Flacco in 2008.
So what are the Ravens looking for?
Many pundits believe that the Ravens will look for a wide receiver, or an upgrade to the defense.
History says the Ravens will take defense.
Most of the draft class is pretty underwhelming outside of the top 15 or 20 picks. With only six picks, Baltimore could also choose to trade down.
The best-case draft scenario, in many fans minds, is for Maryland junior receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey to fall to No. 26.
Not only would this please hometown fans if Heyward-Bey falls to the Ravens, it would address a major need for the Ravens as they are in desperate need of a big, fast, reliable receiver.
Baltimore’s receiving corps isn’t bad, but Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton are possession receivers, while Demetrius Williams is injury-prone.
A worst-case draft scenario is hard to find for the Ravens.
The way the front office has taken care of addressing needs has minimized the risk for a bad scenario. Also, with the Bears trading their first round pick for Jay Cutler, that eliminates a team that could have been in the market for a receiver.
During the draft, Newsome will probably look to gain depth at linebacker, defensive end and receiver.
Trading down, as stated earlier, could help them.
Many teams like to trade in to the second round of the draft because signing the player is generally less-expensive than a first round selection, and there’s more value for the money.
In addition, this draft class seems to have depth for the middle rounds as opposed to the end of the first round.
More than likely, when the Ravens are looking to draft a player, the team will go with their “best player available” strategy that has been used since the franchise’s inception.
For the most part that strategy has worked as the Ravens have acquired players like Ray Lewis, Jonathan Ogden, Peter Boulware and Ed Reed.
All Ravens fans will be interested to see what the team does, and how the draft will pan out.
Look for the team to go with either a linebacker or a receiver. If neither is available, the Ravens may trade out of the first round.