Ravens Roost

April 7, 2010 10:08 PM

Ravens may lean defensively in the draft

One of the most glaring deficiencies the Ravens faced coming into the 2010 season was Baltimore+Ravens+v+Dallas+Cowboys+dDrKtC7B3-Rl1.jpgthe wide receiver position, but Ozzie Newsome has seemed to address that shortcoming  to a large degree with the additions of Donte' Stallworth and Anquan Boldin and the re-signing of Derrick Mason. So, unless a coveted wide receiver falls to the 25th spot in the draft I doubt the Ravens are inclined to look for offensive help. The lone exception for a 1st round pick might be tight end but other than that I see the team looking for the most part to the defensive side of the ball throughout the draft. Even in this age of pass happy offenses, and rules that favor them, defense wins championships. Always has and always will.

With the departure of Justin Bannan and Dwan Edwards, and the aging of Kelly Gregg and Tervor Pryce the Ravens defensive line is a bit depleted at the moment. Yes, the team did sign Cory Redding but he isn't a long term answer to rebuilding the defensive line, he's mealy a stop gap effort at adding depth. What the Ravens need to do is concentrate on finding that stud defensive end to bookend with Terrell Suggs and that monster defensive tackle to compliment Haloti Ngata. I see the D-line as being more important than adding secondary help as a stout defensive line that can put pressure on the quarterback will make any secondary look good, and admit it the Ravens pass rush last season was dismal at best.

Should someone like Everson Griffen DE, USC fall down the list the Ravens may jump at him. Most draft prognosticators have Griffen gone by the 16th pick but every year players that were thought to be top picks slide down to much lower levels. Another possibility is Brandon Graham, DE Michigan. Though he's only 6'1" he has the talent to be an excellent pass rusher and run stopper in the NFL. Most drafts have Graham going by the 20th pick but as I said the draft never plays out the way it's predicted to.

I would expect the Ravens to choose a cornerback somewhere in the draft as both Fabian Washington and Ladarius Webb are both rehabbing from ACL injuries and may not be ready at the start of the season. Another position the team may be looking at is middle linebacker. While they are counting on Dannell Ellerbe to be the possible replacement for Ray Lewis that hasn't shown itself to be a lock after Ellerbe only playing one season.

While the Ravens may pick a tight end or a wide receiver, or both in this draft I think the team will will be looking more towards beefing up the defense, and that I think is their greater area of need at this point. Which would you prefer, trying to outscore Peyton Manning or keep him off the field? My guess is the latter. 

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