The Ravens look like they should be a consistent powerhouse, and to me it is all about the addition of Joe Flacco. I expect offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to let go of the reigns a little bit on Flacco and increase his workload throwing the football. Gaining more points offensively is something very good for the Ravens, but very bad for everyone else in the AFC North. Could the Ravens shock the world and overtake the Super Bowl champion Steelers? It all starts on Drafty Day.
Let?s get to their draft range at No. 26 overall:
Rey Maualuga: Ray Lewis is getting older and did not generate much interest on the free agent market. The loss of Bart Scott hurts too. The Ravens could be looking to add a Week 1 starter at inside linebacker next to Big Ray. Maualuga has the physical tools and ability to blitz that would be ideal for this defense. I expect the Ravens to be discussing this possible selection in their war room.
Wide Receiver: A big and/or explosive threat at wide receiver could be exactly what the doctor ordered. Derrick Mason is 35 and does not have many years left in the league. Mark Clayton has only had one 700-plus yard season in his career, but granted he has not had much consistency or talent at quarterback until now. With Flacco going into his second season, maybe he has a career year, but I still feel wide receiver will be a need at some point or another.
Rutgers? Kenny Britt has the size and route-running ability to be Flacco?s go-to receiver eventually. UNC?s Hakeem Nicks? draft stock seems to be on the down, but he could be in the discussion. Look out for Missouri?s Jeremy Maclin to fall on Draft Day. I think he could be exactly whom Baltimore targets as someone who can stretch the field.
Phil Loadholt: I have heard some potential about Loadholt going in the first round, and Baltimore could very well be his destination. Willie Anderson is going to be 34 and Adam Terry never proved to be an answer as a starter. Loadholt has the size and strength to dominate at right tackle.
After the first round, I just do not see many players who can really help out this team immediately, which to me is a testament to how talented this depth chart is.
Jasper Brinkley of South Carolina has the ideal size for the 3-4 defense. His athleticism was underrated and he put it on display at the Combine. He could be targeted by Baltimore in the second or third round.
Percy Harvin could take a huge slip in the 2009 NFL Draft because he has serious character concerns and questions about his durability. Oh, and he tested positive for marijuana at the Combine. Maybe the Ravens take a look at him; maybe not. Nevertheless, his explosiveness could be utilized by Cam Cameron.
Depth on the defensive line could be had especially at the 5-technique defensive end. Fili Moala fits this scheme, as does Jarron Gilbert. My motto is you can never have enough talent on the defensive line since getting pressure on the quarterback is so vital and stopping the run is a necessity. It all starts up front so maybe the Ravens go here earlier than most project.