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Early Look at 2014 Needs

 
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mcdni


Joined: 12 Nov 2004
Posts: 631
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 6:59 am    Post subject: Early Look at 2014 Needs Reply with quote

I was looking at way too early 2014 mock drafts and I was wondering what positions we will be targeting early in the next draft. Here is a way too early look at our 2014 needs based upon our current roster.

It appears as though we are going to be tight against the cap again next year which is going to effect our chances of resigning some guys.

QB - Possible need 1.

Both Flacco and Taylor will be under contract. Again we will most likely only be looking for a 6th/7th round prospect unless we decide to go in a different direction than Taylor. It will be interesting to see/hear what Jim Caldwell thinks of Taylor.

RB - Probably 0.

The top 2 spots are locked in with Rice and Pierce. The 3rd spot will be for a UDFA or a holdover from this year like Allen, Rainey or Berry.

FB - Probably 0.

Vonta Leach will be a FA but we already have our next in line with "Juice" drafted this year. He will likely fill the role of backup FB/H-Back/3rd TE this year and take over for Leach next year. We likely bring in a UDFA for camp.

TE - Probably 2.

Pitta and Dickson will be UFAs. Only 1 will be resigned. Cap room permitting it will be Pitta and Dickson will be allowed to leave. I could see us targeting another TE early (maybe 2nd day of the draft). The interesting thing this year will be if the Ravens have a 3rd TE on the roster or just use Juice there. Matt Furstenburg seems to be doing well and has a small chance of making the roster. At worst he maybe ends up on the practice squad with a chance to compete again in 2014. The Ravens might double dip in the draft with a 6th/7th round pick.

WR - 1, Maybe 2.

Jacoby Jones will be a FA and LaQuan Williams will be a RFA. I can't really see either back, Jones because of the salary cap and Williams just might not have a chance to perform and a RFA tag might be too costly (Although I didn't see us bringing Reed back either). What sort of need we have depends upon whether any of our young guys step up. It could be a day 1/2 need or it could be day 3 for depth. It's up to Doss, Williams, Thompson, Reed, Streeter and Mellette what will happen at this position.

T - Probably 2.

We will likely need a LT and a RT. McKinnie will have 1 year left on his contract but the Ravens need to get serious in looking for a LT. Luckily the next draft will be top heavy in 1st round talent tackles. Oher will be a UFA and with the salary cap situation I just can't see him returning unless it is a cap friendly team discount sort of deal. A 1st round tackle could probably play RT the 1st year and then take over from McKinnie in 2015. I could then see the Ravens target a 3rd day draft pick for the RT of the future spot unless someone like Wagner, Reid or Harewood develops this year.

G & C - 0.

We are pretty much set at these spots so I have lumped them together. We have Pro Bowl level starters at G with young depth behind them and an inexperienced starting C with experience and youth behind him. I don't see any needs here at all.

NT - 1.

Cody will be a UFA and I highly doubt at this point he will be resigned. We will have Ngata and Williams to play NT with Tyson as backup. We might draft someone late on day 3 or look for a UDFA to challenge for the 3rd spot.

DE - Maybe 1.

Arthur Jones will be a UFA but I doubt he is resigned. We already have drafted his replacement in Kapron Lewis-Moore who will redshirt this year. Canty, Spears and McPhee are all signed for 2014 so the only need would be some more depth so again a day 3 pick is likely.

ILB - At least 1, maybe 2.

Both McClellan and Bynes will be RFAs and unless one of them steps up to be a capable starter then I can't see them receiving the low tender as it will be too expensive. That will make ILB a need again this offseason. We might target a possibly starting quality ILB late on day 2 or early day 3 and then fill the other need with a UDFA type that we always seem to find.

OLB - Probably 0.

Suggs, Dumervil, Upshaw and Simon all will be under contract. The 5th guy behind them currently will either be Hamilton or McAdoo as pass rush type DE/OLBs. Hamilton will be a ERFA which means if he makes the team or ends up on the practice squad he will likely be retained for another year. McAdoo will be a RFA so this is likely his last chance to prove anything. You can never have too many pass rushers but this is a spot we likely don't target in the draft unless a BPA type falls to us.

CB - Probably 1.

Corey Graham and Chris Johnson will be UFAs. I can't see either being resigned. Corey Graham is playing too well and will get snapped up on too big a contract for us to match. Chris Johnson is getting up there in years and even if he is resigned it will be vet minimum and he will have to compete for a roster spot just like this year. You can never have too many quality corners and I could see this spot being targeted on day 2 or early day 3 of the draft.

S - Probably 1.

This is likely mostly for depth. We already have our projected starters in Huff and Elam. Ihedigbo will be a UFA but likely will be resigned for vet minimum again. Levine will be a RFA, Omar Brown will be a ERFA and Thompson needs to get himself straightened out or be cut this year. A day 3 or UDFA type safety is likely a pickup.

Special Teams - Probably 0.

We have our Kicker, Punter and Long Snapper already signed for 2014. The only potential need would be a kick/punt returner but there are already candidates on the team to replace Jacoby Jones so we likely don't target a specialist.

Does anyone else have any projections?
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hemm68


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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as far as draft needs I'm thinking come next year we will definitely be looking OT and Wr very early.

our Cornerback situation this year is promising yet worrisome at the same time. think about it if Webb busts his knee up again (already knocked on wood) and Jimmy Smith has another subpar year we are looking at a very weak secondary. however if it goes the other way around and both play at the level they are capable of we are looking at our backfield being a strength with chykie getting a chance at that third corner spot.

TE will also be a position that could turn into a need. if we can't resign either Pitta or Dickson next year we could be in dire straits. this would have to be a third or fourth round fill unless someone like ASJ were to be around.

ranking the needs I'm looking at
1. OT
2. WR
3. CB/TE
4. ILB
5. FS
6. NT

pretty short list so far with ILB and FS being luxury picks
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Mancunian Raven


Joined: 09 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As things stand now, it's got to be OT. I think the Ravens are already taking a risk (that they have to take) with McKinnie at LT this season. He's never been a model of consistency and hard work, and he's not got a whole lot left in the tank. He'll make it through the season, but next year? I hope not.

So I think the Ravens need to start thinking about what sort of position they'll need to be in to get a potential starting LT in next year's draft. I think they might need to give up quite a bit to trade up for one.

Regarding Oher's situation, hopefully Ricky Wagner will develop this year and provide a cheaper alternative at RT. I feel like that's what the Ravens are hoping for with him.

WR hopefully won't be a need, because there are enough guys on the roster right now who should be able to make a case for getting more time on the field. And if the likes of LaQuan Williams, Deonte Thompson and David Reed aren't ready to start games by then, they never will be.

I think it's impossible to judge most of the positions, just because we don't really know what we have there.

D-line? Sure Spears, Canty are only short term solutions, and Cody probably won't get another contract. But the Ravens drafted Brandon Williams and Kapron Lewis-Moore, and seem to have big hopes for both guys.

CB? I think Jimmy Smith will come good, if he can get a full training camp and pre-season under his belt. Webb, Graham and Brown provide a good core as well.

TE? I expect Pitta to get a new contract, but maybe not Dickson. The Ravens might stash Furstenburg on the Practice Squad, though.

ILB could be a need, depending on how McClain does coming back from injury and a mediocre season, and how Bynes and others develop.
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gooselovechild


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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't rule out the possibility that Suggs is a cap casualty next offseason.

He's on the wrong side of 30, has a huge cap number, and one of Upshaw or Simon could probably man the hole releasing him would create.

As far as CB, being a need, Brown and Jackson are already on the roster, and we don't know what we have in Anthony yet, so its too early to tell if we need to bring in another body there or not.

We will not need 2 TEs, since Pitta will likely be back, Juice is likely to play a hybrid TE/FB role, and Furstenburg will stick on the PS. Any hole created if Dickson leaves can be filled internally.

The same with ILB. Bynes and McClellan can be retained at relatively team friendly salaries, so I don't see either of them going anywhere.

OT is the great unknown right now. If Wagner or Reid can play RT with any degree of success, Oher's next contract could be elsewhere. But we still need a young LT, and that will likely be addressed early in the draft. If we don't see anything from the backups on the roster, it gets more complicated, because then we do need to get 2 OTs next offseason or bite the bullet and re-sign Oher.

Ditto for WR. If any of Doss, Streeter, or Mellette show anything, the need there isn't as great. If no one steps up though, we have a glaring hole there that needs to be addressed before Torrey enters his walk year.

I disagree about Jones being too expensive, however. He isn't a bona fide #2 by any means, but he has added value on ST, and will probably be a priority to be retained, especially if he duplicates his productivity in the return game.
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nevermore


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gooselovechild wrote:
I wouldn't rule out the possibility that Suggs is a cap casualty next offseason.

He's on the wrong side of 30, has a huge cap number, and one of Upshaw or Simon could probably man the hole releasing him would create.

Suggs is turning 31, not 35 - and is a season away from being DPOY.
Also, Suggs and Simon do not belong in the same sentence.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nevermore wrote:
gooselovechild wrote:
I wouldn't rule out the possibility that Suggs is a cap casualty next offseason.

He's on the wrong side of 30, has a huge cap number, and one of Upshaw or Simon could probably man the hole releasing him would create.

Suggs is turning 31, not 35 - and is a season away from being DPOY.
Also, Suggs and Simon do not belong in the same sentence.

He is. But come the 2013 season he will have been two seasons removed from DPOY, but more importantly just ONE season away from a torn Achilles tendon. Now, I'm not doctor, but that's a serious injury. Suggs was never an explosive quick twitch pass rushing threat, however we still don't know how that injury is going to affect his abilities moving forward.

If Suggs' pass rushing ability declines past what we'd hope and all he brings to the table is elite rushing defense and simply above average pass rush... then that skillset might be replaceable enough to try and save money by cutting Suggs.

I'm not saying it's a likely possibility, but the possibility that Suggs could, like Boldin, end up a cap casualty down the road due to the team success and players getting paid is definitely there. Maybe Jimmy Smith starts dominating and we need some extra cash to get him an extension to his current deal. Or perhaps Flacco hits some escalators and we could use the extra money. If Suggs has a season with a lack of performance, making the decision to move on from him might become that much easier.
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Mancunian Raven


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ Unless Suggs would be willing to take a pay cut. That seems unlikely, of course, but who knows how strongly he might want to be a one team guy. Ray has become a bit of a poster child for how loved a guy can be in Baltimore if he sticks around, and I can imagine Suggs would want to feel some of that himself.

It's all hypothetical, but I think that Harbs has shown a willingness to be pretty ruthless when deciding who he wants on his roster and who he doesn't, and Ozzie and Steve seem happy to go with what he decides. There's no reason not to be, really, given Harbs' record in the five years he's been head coach.

If Suggs does start sliding, which certainly isn't impossible, and the rest of the defense steps up, which I think is very likely, then we could find the Ravens in a position a year from now where Suggs at $13million, or whatever his cap number is, isn't quite the value for money the team wants.

Over the next couple of years we'll have Torrey Smith in need of a contract, Dennis Pitta, Jimmy Smith (if he realises his potential this year), and there will still be a need at LT that might have to be addressed in FA if it can't be at the draft.
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coordinator0


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next year (2014-15 season) will be the last year of Suggs' contract. According to Rotoworld his salary for that year is $7.8 millions so that should be how much the Ravens would save if they cut him. Notable free agents after this season, which is where Suggs' cap number would come into play, include the following:

Terrence Cody
Ed Dickson
Corey Graham
Arthur Jones
Jacoby Jones
Vonta Leach
Michael Oher
Dennis Pitta

There isn't anybody really important on that list (some might say Pitta or maybe Jacoby Jones but I'm not too sure about that) but there's quite a few quality players. I'm not sure what Baltimore's current cap commitments for the 2014-15 season are but it's reasonable to suggest that Suggs could be a cap casualty if he doesn't produce next season and/or he doesn't rework his deal or get an extension so they can keep some of those other guys.

With that said I really don't expect him to be gone though. Too much has been made about the Ravens finally having a legitimate pair of bookend pass-rushers. Now if Suggs doesn't recover enough from his Achilles and under-produces it's going to be a really interesting situation but I'd bet that the team takes a chance on him getting back to form for the last year of his contract.
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gooselovechild


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nevermore wrote:
gooselovechild wrote:
I wouldn't rule out the possibility that Suggs is a cap casualty next offseason.

He's on the wrong side of 30, has a huge cap number, and one of Upshaw or Simon could probably man the hole releasing him would create.

Suggs is turning 31, not 35 - and is a season away from being DPOY.
Also, Suggs and Simon do not belong in the same sentence.


Like others have said, by this time next year, Suggs will be 2 years removed from being a DPOY and will be a 32 year old OLB. There aren't many edge rushers who maintain a high level once they hit that age, so it is in the realm of possibility.

I never said it was likely, just that it can't be ruled out.

As to whether or not Simon belongs "in the same sentence," we don't know that yet. Did Tom Brady belong in the same sentence with Peyton Manning in 2001? Let the kid hit the field before you write him off as a career backup.
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hemm68


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just a thought on the Suggs scenario. didn't he take a paycut to remain with the ravens once? if so I could see it likely he does again to try to be our next career Raven.
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mcdni


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hemm68 wrote:
just a thought on the Suggs scenario. didn't he take a paycut to remain with the ravens once? if so I could see it likely he does again to try to be our next career Raven.


Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs signed a six-year, $63 million contract Wednesday, making him the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history.

The contract, which assures him $38 million in guaranteed money, provides a long-term solution to Suggs' unsettled status as the team's franchise player.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4328590

I don't think being paid the highest at your position can count as a pay cut. The Ravens also chose not to go after some of his money after he snapped his Achilles playing Basketball so obviously the relationship between Suggs and the team is strong. If it gets to the situation similar to Boldin, I could see Suggs more likely to accept the pay cut to remain with the Ravens.
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BaltimoreTerp


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gooselovechild wrote:
.As to whether or not Simon belongs "in the same sentence," we don't know that yet. Did Tom Brady belong in the same sentence with Peyton Manning in 2001? Let the kid hit the field before you write him off as a career backup.


Indeed we don't know yet what Simon will do in the NFL, but in light of that, it seems more prudent to me not to give the 4th round the benefit of the doubt here in terms of whether he deserves to be mentioned in the same light as a former All-Pro and DPOY who is 2nd in the NFL all-time in postseason sacks. The burden of proof lies with John Simon to show he's deserving of that sort of credit and until he does it's reckless to even entertain the thought of mentioning him in the same breath as Suggs.

As far as Suggs' status in 2014 and beyond, as others have said it depends a lot on this coming year, but I'd lean towards him sticking around for at least 2-3 more years playing at a high level. The fact that he's always been more of a technician rather than a physical freak can play two ways as he gets older - either his remaining physical talents erode to such a level that his technical skill is rendered useless, or else he's better positioned to contribute as an older veteran because he's learned enough tricks of the trade to need less than just a quick first step to succeed. But he's not someone who seemed to fully embrace and commit himself to taking care of his body until a couple of years ago, which resulted in him finding a new level of dominance and winning DPOY. If he maintains that level of dedication, and the fact that he battled back from that Achilles injury at a much faster timetable than expected and has publicly encouraged the idea of him being the new vocal leader of the defense makes me cautiously optimistic. With the opportunity to play alongside a quality pass rusher at OLB for the first time in many years (as Kruger was still so-so in 2011 and Suggs wasn't at close to his best shape in 2012) in Dumervil and a deep rotation, I think we can keep him fresh and coax a big year out him. And unless he falls off a cliff this season in terms of production, I'm not sure we'd be in a rush to get rid of him.

32 years old isn't young, but it's not over-the-hill either. Jason Taylor won DPOY at the age of 32. James Harrison had 11 sacks as a 32 year old and then 9 sacks in 11 games as a 33 year old. Suggs is perfectly capable of remaining a threat for another couple of years past 2013. Of course it will be up to him whether he does, but I wouldn't write him off so quickly.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not too worried about the age. Suggs never had the athleticism that I would think age would really make him see a steep decline in what he likes to do. Your points on his technique/athleticism going either way is a great one.

The thing that worries me however is the Achilles injury itself. Normally I wouldn't think Suggs could see that steep decline in athleticism that would render his pass rush much less effective, but if that is going to happen... I think the nature of the Achilles and how important it is for an athlete is the type of injury that could push Suggs closer to that less athletic/lower productivity zone.

But either way, I think we won't know how Suggs looks until we see him play... and that's the only real indicator we can use to determine his value to the team moving forward. He was still a beastly defender... and I'd argue our most important defender in 2012, it's just that he still wasn't at his 2011 level as a pass rusher. He'll have time to get into proper shape and such, so he'll still be a beast- at least in run defense- but will his Achilles be able to recover enough explosive ability to allow him pass rush success... that's the question.
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gooselovechild


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BaltimoreTerp wrote:
gooselovechild wrote:
.As to whether or not Simon belongs "in the same sentence," we don't know that yet. Did Tom Brady belong in the same sentence with Peyton Manning in 2001? Let the kid hit the field before you write him off as a career backup.


Indeed we don't know yet what Simon will do in the NFL, but in light of that, it seems more prudent to me not to give the 4th round the benefit of the doubt here in terms of whether he deserves to be mentioned in the same light as a former All-Pro and DPOY who is 2nd in the NFL all-time in postseason sacks. The burden of proof lies with John Simon to show he's deserving of that sort of credit and until he does it's reckless to even entertain the thought of mentioning him in the same breath as Suggs.


See, that's the thing. no one ever suggested that Simon could reproduce Suggs' production or that he is--or will ever be--on the same level as Suggs. All I said was that Simon would be a candidate (along with Upshaw) to step into the position should Suggs be a cap casualty next year.

But the statement that Player B should never be "mentioned in the same sentence" as Player A is just silly unless known entities are being compared. In this instance, we don't know what we have in Simon, so it isn't a fair statement and we do need to wait until we see him on the field before making any determination on the path Simon's career will take.
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hemm68


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcdni wrote:
hemm68 wrote:
just a thought on the Suggs scenario. didn't he take a paycut to remain with the ravens once? if so I could see it likely he does again to try to be our next career Raven.


Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs signed a six-year, $63 million contract Wednesday, making him the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history.

The contract, which assures him $38 million in guaranteed money, provides a long-term solution to Suggs' unsettled status as the team's franchise player.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4328590

I don't think being paid the highest at your position can count as a pay cut. The Ravens also chose not to go after some of his money after he snapped his Achilles playing Basketball so obviously the relationship between Suggs and the team is strong. If it gets to the situation similar to Boldin, I could see Suggs more likely to accept the pay cut to remain with the Ravens.


well that'll teach me to rely on my memory. for some reason I had thought he took a hometown discount so we could resign Ray.
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