The Ravens have several areas on their roster that they’d like to upgrade, but they also need to get younger at a few key positions. Obviously, Baltimore is looking to add more receiving threats but a few other positions become a little less obvious.
It’s my belief that the Ravens need to move Michael Oher back to right tackle. By doing this, Marshal Yanda would be moved back into RG, which is more of a natural fit for him. If Gaither returns, more than likely he’ll only be around for the 2011 season and the Ravens will need to look at a true left tackle prospect.
On the defense, Baltimore needs help at all three levels. For one, they’ll look to add a 5-technique defensive end to play opposite Haloti Ngata. Many of the prospects for this position will have played defensive tackle in college. The team needs help in the pass rush department and if they are even the slightest bit unsure of Sergio Kindle’s chances of returning, they’ll almost undoubtedly draft an OLB that can rush the passer.
Baltimore is also in need of another inside linebacker. This could be to play beside Ray Lewis for now, or, if the team is comfortable with Jameel McClain, they’ll still need another inside linebacker to be an eventual replacement for Lewis.
The cornerback situation isn’t as dire as before with Foxworth coming back from a knee injury but it’s unclear if the team will be able to keep both Josh Wilson and Chris Carr. Even if both return, the Ravens still do not have a true "shut down" corner and could look to grab one if available.
The Ravens also need some help at safety. Dawan Landry’s play has declined since his neck injury and Ed Reed won’t be around forever.
For purposes of this Ravens-centric draft analysis in 2011 we will focus upon improving through the draft at offensive tackle, wide receiver, defensive end/OLB, inside linebacker and cornerback.
So far we’ve reviewed the position(s) of Offensive Tackle
Today we’ll take a look at Defensive End.
DE – Round 1
Cameron Heyward – Ohio State: Solid lineman with great bloodlines. Has no problem anchoring against double teams.
Muhammad Wilkerson – Temple: Mike Mayock put it best when he compared Wilkerson to a young, Trevor Pryce.
Adrian Clayborn – Iowa: Talent warrants a higher selection but could slip due to other players. Strong, quick and consistent. Would provide needed pass rush from the interior.
DE – Round 2
Christian Ballard – Iowa: Likely to be gone at Baltimore’s 2nd round pick but if available, would be an absolute steal. Underrated due to the attention Clayborn gets but solid overall.
DE – Round 3
Allen Bailey – Miami: Might be a workout warrior and may not have a true position. However, he’s a hard worker that it at least strong at the point of attack.
Jurrell Casey – USC: Dropped down draft boards due to inconsistency but has 2nd round talent and ability.
Jarvis Jenkins – Clemson: A bit large for a 5-technique and may be better suited for a 4-3 defense. However, he’s a big guy with excellent strength and would be a terror lined up next to Cody and Ngata on the line.
DE – Round 4
Sione Fua – Stanford: Fua is a superb run stuffer and that will be his specialty at the next level. ~ FFToolbox.com
DE – Round 5
Ian Williams – Notre Dame: A lot of experience playing in 37 games at ND; hard worker and solid run stopper; body type doesn’t provide for bulk at 6’1”; trouble separating from blockers ~ Hogs Heaven
DE – Round 6
Pierre Allen – Nebraska: Strengths: Well-built player with a strong punch. Generally assignment-sure. Stacks the tackle to move with the block to stay in the play. Capable run defender on the strong side with a good mix of quickness and strength; Weaknesses: Provides some power and quickness off the edge but is not elite in either area. Runs tall. Forces tackles upfield but lacks the flexibility get under the tackle’s outside shoulder and turn the corner. Very inconsistent anticipating the snap. Has few counter moves. ~ NFLDraftScout.com
DE – Round 7