Over the last few decades, the one thing about the Baltimore Ravens that could be counted on was the team’s defense. For years, it’s been elite and has managed to keep the team in games and net them several impressive victories.
This offseason, that defense is going to be put to the test in a big way in terms of rebuilding and replacing several talented players. Depth up front has taken a massive hit, and as a result, the Ravens are going to have to find a way to get a difference maker in the draft in the trenches.
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Recently, NFL.com analyst Marc Sessler took a look at resetting the NFL offseason from the perspective of the AFC North. When it came to the Ravens’ top draft priority, Sessler says reloading the edge position is a must for the team.
“Baltimore has a problem if right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. wins his battle to be traded away. They need a receiver, too, even after inking Sammy Watkins. No position group is more paper thin, though, than the club’s collection of pass rushers. Judon and Ngakoue waving farewell creates a crystal-clear need for a prospect to unleash beside Tyus Bowser, Pernell McPhee and Jaylon Ferguson, who collectively piled up just seven sacks in 2020.”
Some early mocks have had the Ravens addressing the need for an edge rusher right away in the first-round, and it’s more than possible the team will look at it as the type of need they need to strike for immediately in order to shore up the roster for the 2021 season.
The Ravens have found pass rushers before so this is nothing new, but it’s a challenge nonetheless for the team this year.
Ravens’ Edge Spot Called ‘Bare’
It’s a common thought that the Ravens are thin at this key spot. This offseason, the Ravens have seen more turnover on the roster and are going to be looking at getting a few more players in the mix come the draft. There’s no question the team has some major needs in terms of replacing some players who have left in key spots up front.
Recently, writer Dan Parr took a closer look at the biggest draft needs for every team in the league. In terms of the Ravens, he believes the team has a major need up front on defense as it relates to getting some key players to help the defense as well as rush the passer.
“The cupboard is looking a bit bare off the edge. Replacing Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue is essential. As for Lamar Jackson’s supporting cast, the signings of Sammy Watkins and Kevin Zeitler shouldn’t prevent Baltimore from adding more help for the receiving corps and offensive line, especially with Orlando Brown requesting a trade.”
Defensive end, wideout and offensive line would seem to be the big needs for the team in order, so Parr is right on as it relates to this assessment. The tough news for the Ravens? There might not be big-name players around at defensive end early, but the chance will still exist to fill the need.
Ravens Defense Needs Help
This offseason, the Ravens have kept several players for their defense, but have also sustained a few big losses with Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue going elsewhere. This pair might not seem like a huge loss on the surface, but it’s a big deal to the Ravens, who need some help up front rushing the passer.
The good news? The Ravens have done a good job to draft players in recent years, and managed to grow Judon at home as well as facilitate a trade for Ngakoue at the deadline. The team will be able to find players to fit the need, but it’s clear that there is a major opportunity to get some more young players into the mix to fill the need well.
Obviously, edge is a major need for the Ravens regardless of how they choose to fix it.
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