Ravens Defensive Needs A Week Before the Draft
The Ravens will be looking to bolster their defense in this year’s draft. After a solid start to the 2016 season the Ravens defense fell off at the end resulting in a meager 8-8 season. All told the Ravens still need pieces, even after a couple helpful additions made through free agency. Most noteworthy of the acquisitions is the resigning of nose tackle Brandon Williams, and signings of safety Tony Jefferson and cornerback Brandon Carr.
The following is a list of the Baltimore Ravens needs on the defensive side of the ball.
The Ravens should look to continue rebuilding their secondary by adding at least one corner in the draft. Last season the Ravens struggled when cornerback Jimmy Smith was lost to injury. The struggles following the injury exposed a lack of depth in their defensive backfield. Apart from adding some fresh talent, adding another corner would allow Tavon Young to focus on his natural slot position. Ozzie Newsome and the front office did bring on the durable Brandon Carr, but Carr is more of a filler than an exceptional playmaker. The Ravens could add that playmaker with their first round pick by drafting Ohio State’s Gareon Conley or Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey. If other needs take precedence however, the ultra-talented injury-concern Sidney Jones out of Washington could provide a solution after another a round or two. If Newsome still has not pulled the trigger, the Ravens could use a fifth round selection on Miami’s talented but small Corn Elder.
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The Ravens will need to replace Terrell Suggs eventually. Fortunately this year’s draft is deep enough in edge talent to compliment and eventually replace Suggs as the teams top pass rusher. Look for the Ravens to take Michigan’s physical-freak edge rusher Taco Charlton or UCLA’s Takkarist McKinley in the first round. McKinley was even named the best fit for the Ravens by CBS Sports. However, if either of those two are not to Newsome’s fancy, than maybe an Alabama product will be. Touted for his football smarts, Ryan Anderson would make a solid third or fourth round addition.
After Zach Orr’s retirement a hole has presumably opened up for one lucky draft pick. C.J. Mosely’s next partner in grime, as in smeared opposing ball carriers, could be Alabama product Reuben Foster or Temple standout Haason Reddick. Foster, besides being from Newman’s favorite school, is a fantastic tackler that projects as a 3-4 inside linebacker. Reddick also projects best as 3-4 inside linebacker and has crazy speed and athleticism. Outside of the first round however, Florida’s Jarrad Davis is a great athlete and hard worker. Perhaps available in the second round, Davis’s draft stock is hurt a little by his nagging injury problem.
— Patrick Backlas covers the Baltimore Ravens as a managing editor for cover32 Ravens. Connect and follow on Twitter @PatrickBacklas and @Cover32_bal
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