Now that the major free agent signings have been finalized, the Last Word On Sports NFL department will be looking at the top three needs for each team heading into the 2015 NFL Draft. Today, the Baltimore Ravens are the focus. The Ravens have always been one of the best teams in the league when it comes to drafting, and this year they are picking 26th.
Baltimore Ravens 2015 NFL Draft: Top 3 Needs
The Baltimore Ravens have not drafted an offensive player with their first-round pick since 2009 when they drafted Michael Oher. Now would be a great time to think about drafting a wide receiver in the first round and ending this streak.
The wide receiver position seems to be one of the weakest on the depth chart. Joe Flacco’s go-to receiver, Torrey Smith, left the Ravens to sign with the 49ers. The Ravens do have Steve Smith, but not much else. Marlon Brown, Jeremy Butler, Michael Campanaro, and Aldrick Robinson are the other receivers on the roster. Brown and Campanaro combined for 31 catches last season. Butler and Robinson didn’t catch a ball in 2014.
This is the perfect year to need a receiver, as the draft is deep at the position. If the Ravens do choose to pick one in the first round, they will likely choose Dorial Green-Beckham (Missouri) or Jaelen Strong (Arizona State).
With Pro Bowler and possible future Hall of Famer Haloti Ngata going to the Lions in free agency and the release of Terrence Cody after the team heard about the alleged animal cruelty charges brought against him, the Ravens have some huge questions on the defensive line. The Ravens run a 3-4 defensive scheme that is designed to have big linemen eat blocks so that the linebackers can run free. It is critical in this type of defense that a team has big, powerful, and strong defensive linemen. Rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley had a spectacular year a season ago, but without Ngata and Cody occupying space, he has his work cut out for him.
The Ravens still have Chris Canty and a handful of young players with potential. However, they still should use a draft pick to address the problem. Oh, how they would love to get their hands on Leonard Williams. The Ravens always have their poker face on, but it may be time to panic over this unit.
The starting tight end will likely be Dennis Pitta, but has not proven that he can stay healthy. Also, the Ravens lost Owen Daniels to the Broncos in free agency. They have three young guys: Crockett Gillmore, Allen Reisner, and Konrad Reuland. One of these guys could become a capable blocker and a potential red zone threat, and it is possible the Ravens didn’t sign Daniels because they knew what they had in these guys. However, the Ravens need a consistent tight end to hold down the backup position or possibly takeover as the starter if Pitta gets injured again.