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coordinator0


Joined: 18 Jan 2008
Posts: 7340
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:00 pm    Post subject: Ravens Team Needs Reply with quote

While we're in the midst of free agency and the pre-draft process I think it's a good time to corral the needs discussion. Below is a rough depth chart consisting of everybody currently on the roster that I will try to keep updated. What or who does the team have to add? Some needs are obvious but there could be some good debate about others.

QB: Flacco - Taylor - N. Stephens
RB: Rice - Pierce - Forsett - Wood
FB: Juszczyk
WR1: T. Smith - Jones - Mellette - Sheppard
WR2: S. Smith - M. Brown - Thompson - Aiken
TE: Pitta - Daniels - Furstenburg - Overbay
LT: Monroe - Mims
LG: Osemele - Shipley
C: Zuttah - Gradkowski - Jensen - R. Stephens
RG: Yanda
RT: Wagner - Reid

DE: Canty - Lewis-Moore
NT: Williams - Cody - Larsen
DE: Ngata - Tyson
ROLB: Suggs - McPhee - Hamilton
WILB: A. Brown - Bynes
MILB: D. Smith - McClellan - Bryant
SOLB: Dumervil - Upshaw - Simon
CB1: Webb - C. Brown
CB2: J. Smith - Jackson
FS: Stewart - Levine - O. Brown
SS: Elam - Miles - Trawick

K: Tucker
P: Koch
LS: Cox


Last edited by coordinator0 on Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:10 pm; edited 5 times in total
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drd23


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO they are:

Tier 1 - Urgent need of upgrade
FS - one comfortable being a centerfielder. Hopefully we move around in the 1st or 2nd round and get one of Calvin Pryor or Jimmy Ward

C - ideally we'd sign Mack away from Cleveland but addressing this position in the draft with either Marcus Martin or Weston Richburg would be a massive upgrade. I don't think that Ryan Jensen should be relied upon as the alternative to Gino given that he is a former DII guy with not a lot of Center experience

Tier 2 - Needs to be upgraded as will play a big part next season
#2 TE - Preferably one that lines up in-line most of the time, I would love to be able to snag Troy Niklas or ASJ in the 2nd round of the draft to fill this need

Tier 3 - Might be filled internally?
LG/RT (with KO being the other) - I don't know if I trust Ricky Wagner just yet given what we saw from him last season but I think there is a strong possibility that the open position on the line might be filled by someone already on the roster

WR - With the signing of Steve Smith, the top 4 WRs seem to be set, but we need to find and develop somebody who will be a legitimate threat in 1-2 years. Probably should spend a 2nd or 3rd round pick in the draft on this need if possible

Nickel CB - Chykie Brown played well as a dime CB 2 years ago but seemed to have fallen away last year. Can he be trusted to be the outside CB in nickel sets?
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Mancunian Raven


Joined: 09 Oct 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say that the Ravens also look a little light on bodies for the D-line at the moment.

Ngata, Canty, Williams, Tyson and Lewis-Moore is a nice set of players, but I'd like at least one more guy in there. A late round draft pick would do me fine, I think.

If the Ravens have seven picks (assuming they get three comp picks), I'd like to see these positions addressed (not necessarily in this order):

FS
TE
DT
OT/G/C
CB
RB
WR
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wackywabbit


Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 6830
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FS - we have no current options

---gap---

C - Ozzie said we're getting bigger in the interior, so I don't see him settling for Gino
Nickel CB - This position is practically a starting one in today's game. Asa and Shocky need competition at least

---gap---

G/RT (wherever KO isn't playing) - could be internal, not too hard a position to find
#2 TE - we need one, but it's a backup role, shouldn't be hard to pick up a blocker

These are all the must fill needs, that are clearly above the others, IMO.
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aussie_raven77


Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 341
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mancunian Raven wrote:
I would say that the Ravens also look a little light on bodies for the D-line at the moment.

Ngata, Canty, Williams, Tyson and Lewis-Moore is a nice set of players, but I'd like at least one more guy in there. A late round draft pick would do me fine, I think.


Going with your theme of D-line I'd like to see us grab Dominque Easley. If he gets back to health he'd be a dynamic pass rusher for us by next year at the latest
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coordinator0


Joined: 18 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like everybody else I think free safety is the biggest need for the Ravens. It's the most obvious hole on the depth chart and the defense would look so much better with a real center-fielding type with Elam roaming around as the strong safety. Honestly I think it completely changes the way the defense is looked at compared to how they had Elam at free safety and Ihedigbo at strong safety last season.

After free safety I again agree with most everybody else that center should be the next biggest need. Gradkowski was terrible last season and I don't have faith that he will learn from his mistakes fast enough for it to be worth starting him again. That's something hard to quantify for us just watching the games but Gradkowski was bad enough last season that I don't want see him out there again regardless.

Then it gets a little more complicated. A #2 tight end is an immediate need but I don't know if I would rank it above wide receiver which isn't as immediate but it's still something I really want the team to add. Then again the #2 tight end has a fairly big role in Kubiak's offense so it's definitely important to get another quality player at that position.

The third cornerback might also be an immediate need but it's hard to say what the plans for Brown and Jackson are. I wouldn't mind seeing both of them get a shot or both of them rotating in as the third guy on the depth chart depending on the situation or match-up but someone else needs to be added anyways because of the lack of depth.

It's kind of the same situation with the defensive line. A lot hinges on how ready Lewis-Moore is. With the way Pees has called the defense and how the team has managed their game-day inactive I don't think much else has to be added to Canty/Ngata/Williams/Tyson/Lewis-Moore but like I said that depends on if Lewis-Moore is ready to contribute right away. The biggest motivation I have for wanting someone drafted there is getting an eventual replacement for Canty. I've never really had the feeling that Lewis-Moore was up to that challenge even if healthy and I'd rather keep Tyson as a rotational guy too.

Last but not least is left guard or right tackle. I won't expand too much on this because I've made my feelings on this topic known multiple times throughout the forum but I will say that if Osemele does move back to right tackle then I think left guard could be filled somewhat easily but that's mostly based on the success Kubiak has had finding interior lineman that can fit his scheme. If Osemele stick at left guard then right tackle becomes a fairly important need for me as I don't want to rely on Wagner. The team probably feels different though.

In recap, my need tiers would be this:

Free safety

Center
Right tackle (if Osemele sticks at left guard)

Wide receiver
Tight end
Defensive lineman
Left guard (if Osemele moves back to right tackle)
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Mancunian Raven


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely agree that FS is the biggest need, after what we've seen in FA. If the Ravens can get that centre fielding, ballhawking guy, then it could really push this defense to the next level.

I think Elam will be an upper echelon SS, almost as soon as he starts playing the position. We saw how good he was at the LOS, in flashes last season. That's where he needs to be, hitting hard and putting the fear of god into guys catching screens and slants.

Smith and Webb would be much more comfortable, knowing they have an athletic FS backing them up, and the defense as a whole could be much more aggressive, if Pees would allow. And who knows, maybe Pees would allow if he had the security of a guy back there who knows how to read plays and get to the ball.

But even though it's the biggest need, I'm not convinced the Ravens go there in the first round. I don't know a whole lot about the prospects at the position, but for some reason, I can't see the Ravens liking Clinton-Dix or Pryor in the 1st round. Maybe if they trade down a few spots.

However, plenty of draftniks were mocking Clinton-Dix to the Steelers at #15, and now they've signed Mike Mitchell, I expect they'll go elsewhere with that pick, so perhaps it would end up being opportune for the Ravens to get him.

If they did, then I think this would be a secondary to get very excited about. Another guy I'd be intrigued by would be Atone Exum, much later in the draft.
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BareYourTeeth


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Needs - free safety, a center, a tackle and cornerback

Depth - defensive end/tackle, receiver, tight end and running back.
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coordinator0


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like the only holes left to fill are free safety, a third cornerback, and maybe a left guard or right tackle. I only say maybe for that last one because I think the team is fairly high on Wagner and they might not view another offensive lineman as much of a need at all. Free safety and cornerback obviously need something though. It's kind of weird that the defense might have the biggest needs on the team going into the draft. I'm not saying I don't think wide receiver shouldn't be addressed with a quality prospect because I still believe it should but the glaring hole aspect of it is gone. Tight end will be interesting to watch. Signing Daniels to a 1-year deal isn't much for future security but I do think that it's less likely the team goes in that direction during the early rounds.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coordinator0 wrote:
It looks like the only holes left to fill are free safety, a third cornerback, and maybe a left guard or right tackle. I only say maybe for that last one because I think the team is fairly high on Wagner and they might not view another offensive lineman as much of a need at all. Free safety and cornerback obviously need something though. It's kind of weird that the defense might have the biggest needs on the team going into the draft. I'm not saying I don't think wide receiver shouldn't be addressed with a quality prospect because I still believe it should but the glaring hole aspect of it is gone. Tight end will be interesting to watch. Signing Daniels to a 1-year deal isn't much for future security but I do think that it's less likely the team goes in that direction during the early rounds.

Yeah. I agree. We also have to remember we already have a pretty talented option developing on our practice squad. So unless we can find a really talented developmental TE option or someone with special teams experience, it's probably not going to be a focus. It'd likely have to be very much a BPA scenario for us to go that route now.

And yeah, I think the obvious "holes" are still with our secondary. That and I think a pass rushing interior DL has to be a need as well. While we have plenty of bodies that can run stuff, we're lacking that ability upfront with most, if any, of those guys. At this point our positions are very much covered, so I don't even think I can truly list "positions" as needs.

But if we had to list needs, I'd list:
- Athletic Free Safety (Ward, Pryor, Bucannon)
- Versatile OL to backup LT+ start at OG/RT (Martin, Bitonio, Thomas)
- Interior Pass Rusher (Aaron Donald, Stephon Tuitt, Rashede Hageman)
- Redzone Threat (Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin, Cody Latimer)
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SnA ExclusiVe


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still amazed that Harbs thinks that Darian Stewart is or can be our starting Free Safety.
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coordinator0


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
I'm still amazed that Harbs thinks that Darian Stewart is or can be our starting Free Safety.


Coach-speak. Nothing more, nothing less.
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SnA ExclusiVe


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coordinator0 wrote:
SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
I'm still amazed that Harbs thinks that Darian Stewart is or can be our starting Free Safety.


Coach-speak. Nothing more, nothing less.


I don't see why he would just deliberately lie to the fans and media when he could just say "Darian will compete for a spot on ST and as a role player for us"
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dcfields


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
I don't see why he would just deliberately lie to the fans and media when he could just say "Darian will compete for a spot on ST and as a role player for us"


Every player will COMPETE for a spot. And every car dealership will ACCEPT your credit application... and then quickly deposit it in the trash can.

It's smoke screen season. You don't want to "show your hand" to the rest of the league going in to the draft. Even though they already know what you need, you don't want to show your opponents a sense of urgency about any position.
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Go_Ravens2


Joined: 30 Dec 2007
Posts: 1987
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dcfields wrote:
SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
I don't see why he would just deliberately lie to the fans and media when he could just say "Darian will compete for a spot on ST and as a role player for us"


Every player will COMPETE for a spot. And every car dealership will ACCEPT your credit application... and then quickly deposit it in the trash can.

It's smoke screen season. You don't want to "show your hand" to the rest of the league going in to the draft. Even though they already know what you need, you don't want to show your opponents a sense of urgency about any position.


Bingo. If Harbs just publicly states that we have no starting FS on our roster, then a team wanting a FS would trade up ahead of us in the first or second round to get their guy ahead of us. If we can make it seem like we're content with our FS (even though they'll likely know anyways), then we increase our odds of landing our guy.
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