Baltimore Ravens 2016 Off-Season: Top 3 Needs

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Remember those bad days when nothing goes right? You know, where one mishap occurs, then another, and small things that don’t usually infuriate you do which just leads to another mishap, you completely lose your cool, and suddenly you’re behind the steering wheel of a speeding white bronco fleeing from a dozen cop cars on the interstate with a helicopter hovering above. Oh wait, sorry that was someone else’s bad day. Okay so maybe Baltimore’s season never got that bad, but that day might have been what it kind of felt like to be a Ravens fan all last season, especially following the previous year where the Ravens got within converting a third and three in New England to returning to the Super Bowl. Seriously, I pegged them as my Super Bowl favorite last year, and then watched in horror as they became the recipient of the Season from Hell Team.

How bad did it get? Right when it seemed like forfeit the season, thus guaranteeing them a top four draft pick, they shocked a heavily favorited Steelers team (-10) with no Flacco, no T-Sizzle, no Justin Forsett, and Ryan Mallett playing quarterback (RYAN MALLETT PLAYING QUARTERBACK!!!). That’s right. They couldn’t even tank correctly. Now that’s a season from Hell. Like the 76ers purposely tanking every year and losing out on a franchise player, but for only one season.

Cheer up though Baltimore, the whole season wasn’t a tragedy. Kamar Aiken was a neat surprise. And you also have the sixth pick in this year’s draft with a general manager that has a knack for finding playmakers – . But before we move, let’s take a look at what needs fixing.

Baltimore Ravens 2016 Off-Season: Top 3 Needs

Outside Linebacker/Pass Rusher

At some point, you have to move on from your stars. Baltimore might have passed that point last year when a 34-year-old Suggs tore his Achilles, neutering their pass rush (34 sacks, 17th overall), and leaving a 32-year-old Elvis Dumervil as the lone threat which resulted in only 14 takeaways (30th overall… almost dead last!) . Not helping next season, Suggs enters his 15th season (13 regular and 17 post-season games) as the “star” of their defense. Would you trust that?

Cap Space: $10.7 million

Free Agents: Bruce Irvin, Robert Ayers, Junior Galette

Draft Prospects: Joey Bosa, Myles Jack, DeForest Buckner


Let’s play a game, what is purple and black, intercepted the ball only six times, finished 23rd in passing touchdowns allowed, and smells like cow dung?

If you guessed last year’s Ravens secondary, you’re absolutely right!

Baltimore sadly finished dead last in interceptions last season. How bad was that? They tied last year’s mark for least interceptions (averaging less than half an INT/game), AND a linebacker (Thomas Davis) almost caught as many interceptions as them. THAT’S AT LEAST FOUR GUYS A GAME THAT COULDN’T INTERCEPT THE BALL AS MUCH A LINEBACKER!

On the bright side, Jimmy Smith will be fully healthy. Ladarius Webb settles into a more comfortable role (safety!). Suggs return should give provide less time the secondary has to try to cover. Which leaves only one glaring hole…

Free Agent CBs: Sean Smith, William Gay, Leon Hall

Prospects: Jalen Ramsey, Vernon Hargreaves, Mackenzie Alexander

Offensive Line

Because if I’m keeping track, I just extended my franchise Super Bowl winning gun-slinging beautiful deep-ball-chucking $21 million a year making quarterback Joe Flacco for another three years. Let’s also not forget the torn ACL he suffered against the Rams after being rolled on by a backup lineman, and why that matters so much too. Add to the mix, Eugene Monroe (starting LT) could be a cap cut, which might create a void on the line if they re-sign Kelechi Osemele and slide him into Monroe’s spot.

Free Agents: Russell Okung, Alex Boone, Andre Smith, Mitchell Schwartz

Prospects: Ronnie Stanley, Taylor Decker, Jason Spriggs, Shon Coleman

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