I don't know what the Baltimore Ravens are going to do with their first-round pick this year, but I can tell you what they're most likely not to do. Throughout this slide I will analyze some possible scenarios and players I feel the Ravens should be targeting.
First off, I've been hearing the cry out by many fans for a pass rusher to bring some new blood into a defensive that didn't accumulate many sacks at all last year. But I just don't see that happening in the first round, and I'll explain why. First off, the Ravens are fully confident Terrell Suggs is going to return to Pro Bowl form.
After getting a huge contract, Suggs came in overweight and injured his foot during training camp.Things went downhill from then on with Suggs .Also, Jarret Johnson quietly had a very good year. He tied for the lead in sacks for the Ravens with seven. He's still pretty young, so with Suggs' huge contract and Johnson's production, it would be unwise to spend all that money on one position.
Finally, if you remember back to last year, the Ravens spent a high pick on Utah's Paul Kruger. I've heard the word 'bust' already associated with this guy already, which is ridiculous. He barely got a chance, for whatever reason. I don't think Ozzie is ready to give up on such a high draft pick already. Give the man a chance; with added weight, I think Kruger can be a solid player.
Ultimately, I think the Ravens SHOULD go with offense. Either Jermaine Gresham if he gets by Cincy and New England, or Demaryius Thomas. Now I know I'm going to get bashed with the "They've already upgraded the offense! The defense needs help!"; just hear me out. There's no doubt Anquan Boldin's a fantastic fit for the Ravens. He's hard-nosed and physical; it's a match made in football heaven.
But due to his physical nature, Boldin has been a victim to injuries throughout his career. If he goes down, the next two receivers are Derrick Mason and Donte Stallworth. Who know's how much is left in the tank of Derrick Mason? He's very productive for us, but is getting up there in age.
Also, Donte Stallworth has been out of football for a year! What if he doesn't come on as planned? Then we're right back to the Mark Clayton-Derrick Mason combo. Trust me, no one wants that. Also, just so you know, Boldin, Stallworth, and Mason will all be older than 30 by year's end.
That's why I say draft a young talented receiver, like a Demaryius Thomas or a Jermaine Gresham, to learn from Mason and Boldin. He can eventually become our No. 1 receiver. It's an investment for the future, for a young receiver to grow with Flacco and eventually become a deadly combo. But don't count out Boise State's Kyle Wilson, as the secondary is pretty weak.
Whether you agree with my perspective or not, it's a deep draft this year and the Ravens are well-known as one of the best drafting teams in the league. So expect a great player to come out of this year's draft for the Ravens. Baltimore has reason to be excited for the 2010 season. Expect big things from our Ravens.