NFL Draft 2011: Baltimore Ravens Scouting Offensive Linemen
NFL Draft 2011 Could Be Baltimore's Excuse to Find More Protection for Joe Flacco
Because the Baltimore Ravens hold the No. 26 pick in this year's NFL Draft, not too many people are curious about who they have their eyes on for when Draft Day rolls around. Nevertheless, despite the fact they were one of the top teams in the AFC in 2010, the Ravens definitely have holes to fill.
One area that could use a boost is the offensive line. Joe Flacco was sacked 40 times last season, second only to Jay Cutler in the NFL.
Because of this, I can't say I was all that surprised when I saw a report from Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post that the Ravens went looking for linemen at the Pro Days of Mississippi State and Indiana.
According to Wilson, Ravens assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington went to the Mississippi State Pro Day to scout Bulldogs offensive tackle Derrek Sherrod, who some see as a prospect worthy of a first round pick.
Meanwhile, the Ravens were also represented at Indiana's Pro Day to scout Hoosiers tackle James Brewer, who will likely be a third-rounder.
Between the two of them, Sherrod is easily the more attractive option. He was an All-SEC selection, and he has an impressive 6'5" frame that carries 321 pounds. At the NFL Combine, Sherrod also said he views himself as an NFL-ready player.
"I am very NFL-ready at left tackle," he said. "That's the position I plan on going in and playing at."
If you were to believe a recent story by Jamison Hensley of The Baltimore Sun, however, the Ravens could also address a defensive weakness with their No. 26 in the form of a bigger cornerback.
"Finding a big, physical cornerback is considered one of the Ravens' top needs," wrote Hensley. "After watching the first round of wide receivers get measured at the NFL scouting combine — 16 of 23 were over 6 feet — it has almost become a necessity."
Hensley correctly points out that one player who could be there for the Ravens' taking is Texas cornerback Aaron Williams. He's not quite an even 6'0," but he's a sturdy 204 pounds. Sounds like the kind of guy who would fit the bill.
If the two primary areas of concern for the Ravens are their O-line and their secondary, I'd have to say that the latter is probably more important. The Ravens have the kind of offense that can more than provide enough points when the defense is playing up to its capabilities. Unfortunately, this wasn't always the case in 2010, especially late in games.
Regardless, it's hard to see the Ravens being drastically improved no matter who they pick. At No. 26, they're more in the market for role players than they are for stars.
For more draft coverage, check out our 2011 NFL Draft Home Page.
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