NFL Draft 2011: Baltimore Ravens’ Draft Could Be Decided By Free Agency
Baltimore Ravens Enter Draft With Large Free Agent Class
The Baltimore Ravens slapped a franchise tag on defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, but it may stick only as long as the absence of a new collective bargaining agreement may allow.
For the Ravens, Ngata’s uncertain fate is merely symbolic of the murkiness currently shrouding a roster covered with potential free agents, made worse by the lockout and inability for any team to negotiate contracts.
According to ESPN.com AFC North blogger James Walker, Baltimore’s free agent class for 2011 includes not only Ngata, but corners Josh Wilson and Chris Carr, safety Dawan Landry, fullback Le’Ron McClain, and offensive tackle Jared Gaither.
Accordingly, the upcoming draft is crucial for head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome.
First and foremost, the Ravens need to restock within the secondary, where potential free-agent departures could further weaken a unit that sprung leaks in 2010.
Miami’s Brandon Harris or Texas’ Aaron Williams are the two best corners available behind Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara, and either would be an option for Baltimore at pick No. 26. UCLA’s Rahim Moore is worthy of a look at safety, possibly as a successor to the aging Ed Reed.
Offensively, the Ravens could use some quality reinforcements along the offensive line in preparation for the imminent departures of Gaither and center Matt Birk.
For more on the 2011 NFL Draft, visit Bleacher Report’s Draft Hub.
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