Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome, has long been regarded as an untouchable draft genius around Baltimore, but the Ravens sudden decline in defensive prowess has some fans pointing the finger in his direction.
Newsome has picked multiple Pro-Bowl type defensive players over the years such as Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, and Lardarius Webb but there is one position that has become devoid of elite talent in recent years. Ozzie Newsome has neglected to draft an Inside Linebacker since taking TCU’s Jason Phillips in the 2009 Draft.
Since the Ravens inception, Newsome has plugged in many unheralded players next to the legendary Ray Lewis and produced largely outstanding results but time has taken it’s toll and Lewis is no longer able to cover up for the lack of talent in the linebacker corps.
Aside from the elder Lewis and Ayanbadejo every Inside Linebacker on the Ravens roster was an Undrafted Free Agent. Jameel McClain and Albert McClellan didn’t even play Inside Linebacker in college. The Ravens linebackers are a bit undersized and under-skilled.
It is time for Ozzie Newsome to address this early in the draft.
CJ Mosley, out of Newsome’s alma mater Alabama, is a viable option in the first round but the crown jewel of the draft would be Notre Dame’s Manti Teo. Selecting Teo would likely mean moving up in the first round which is against Newsome’s M.O.
The Ravens have accumulated offensive depth and reasonable depth in the secondary and defensive line. Ozzie Newsome could stand to risk quantity over quality by giving up a pick or two to grab a dominant defensive player.
The Baltimore Ravens were built on defense and that legacy seems to be fading away.
Newsome must usher in a new era of Ravens defense if the Ravens want to sustain their winning ways.