The draft is upon us and some teams have made it crystal clear what they plan on doing when the proceedings start Thursday night. Others have been quiet and very reluctant to disclose much about their plans. You even have some teams that can’t stop talking about their plans in an attempt to drum up interest in their pick.
Well they fall somewhere in between. They haven’t been shy about what their needs are but there remains a lot of if’s going into the 29th selection this tonight.
What if a player the Ravens covet makes an unexpected fall into the 20’s? What if a player another team likes falls to 29? And how do the quarterback prospects in this draft effect the Ravens? Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Ryan Tannehill are expected to be off the board well before 29 but a team desperate for a QB may be willing to offer a nice package to get up to 29 to take Brandon Weeden before a team sitting at the top of the 2nd is able to draft him. The Ravens have plenty of options and it’s a good thing because they certainly have some needs to fill.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome has said on several occasions that wide receiver, offensive line and pass rush would be areas of focus. Recently he’s also pointed out depth at linebacker and safety as needs as well. When you analyze the roster you see needs for depth at the running back position with the retirement of Ricky Williams. The return game was a major disappointment last year and WR/KR David Reed is coming off an ACL injury. Reinforcements could be used there as well.
The defensive line suffered the losses of Cory Redding and Brandon McKinney in free agency and could use some depth there as well.
In a story from our own Aaron Wilson www.ravens24x7.com/columns/NFL-Draft-Baltimore-Ravens/Ravens-seeking-depth-in-2012-NFL-Draft Ravens director of player personnel Eric Decosta said he viewed this as a "deep draft". He feels the team needs "a lot of good young players" and he "wants as many picks as possible". Not what you might be used to hearing from a team that was a dropped pass away from a Super Bowl but the team could afford to replenish the back end of their roster.
This draft is very strong in the mid rounds. There are several solid football players that should offer very good value from rounds 2 to 5, and while the Ravens have plenty of needs they don’t have many glaring ones. Ozzie can afford to move up and down the board to acquire several good football players as opposed to staying in one spot.
Look for multiple trades with an emphasis on the mid rounds, so don’t focus so much on what selections the team has going into the draft.
I have a feeling plenty of change is a comin’…