Real Simple: Improvement. I never doubt Ozzie Newsome and the staff and I have kept my faith when many people have called for their heads. Last years draft was a step in the right direction. They nabbed about 5 to 6 starters in last years draft, usually you’re lucky to get 2 or 3. Ozzie Newsome set people’s expectations very high when he drafted two hall of famers in the Ravens first draft. And then set the bar even higher drafting players like Ed Reed, Chris McAllister, and Haloti Ngata.
As a Raven fan, I am spoiled. Kind of like the Oklahoma City Thunder, ever since the organization came to be, there hasn’t ever been a year where the team was bad. They’ve always been at least respectable even in their worst years. But with great success comes even higher expectations from the fanbase. And the Ravens must improve or I fear the 2018 offseason will be much more painful. This is my outlook on how the Ravens can improve their roster for the 2017 season.
- Wide Receiver:
This is huge. But really what the title should be is “playmaker”. That is what the Ravens need. I realize that there is only one Julio Jones, but the Ravens have never came close to something like him. They get receivers who used to be great but were past their prime (Smith Sr., Mason, Boldin). The Ravens need to draft a good receiver and also need to add one in free agency. I like Brandon Marshall if he becomes available, but I also like Pierre Garcon, he seems like a Raven-type sign. But whoever it is, the group must improve.
Another big need for this Raven team. You saw the same thing I saw if you watched them: if Jimmy Smith went down, it was it. I remember seeing Jimmy go down against the Patriots and I said “Season is now over”. That makes cornerback the most valuable position for the Ravens. Lucky for us, this draft is loaded with talent at this position with players like Adoree Jackson, Marlon Humphrey, and Quincy Wilson. Me personally, I like Adoree Jackson the most. I think he is a solid corner and also can be a weapon in the return game, which is another thing the Ravens have been searching for since the release of Jacoby Jones.
- Pass Rusher:
As the saying goes: “they aren’t getting any younger”. This is especially true for current Ravens Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. Suggs is still playing at a very high level and is better than most people at his position, but the lack of another rusher opposite of him and lack of depth has caused the Ravens to be ranked in the bottom half of the league in sacks. Pass rusher is also a deep position in this draft, which is most likely the way the Ravens will try to find one due to the lack of good pass rushers on the free agent market with the exception of Melvin Ingram.
It goes without saying it will be quite a busy offseason at The Castle. It seems like Mr. Newson and Coach Harbaugh saw the same things everyone else did this season, so these things, along with many others, will certainly be addressed.