The reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens have been lacking the sort of respect that you usually expect the defending titleholders to have. Some “off-season predictions” have already labeled the Ravens a potential bust for 2013, but with the amount of skilled prospects Ozzie and Co. have added throughout the previous months, it’s become clear that this team can and WILL contend next season.
As I was projecting the team’s front 7, I found that no matter what combination I chose, there will be people on the sidelines that are more than deserving of a starting role. The depth on the defensive line is ridiculous, and Ozzie Newsome proved that his number one goal through the offseason was getting this team back to top-5 caliber.
His first two moves came in the early stages of free agency, when he grabbed Chris Canty and Marcus Spears from the market. Two very non-marquee signings could turn into being the most underrated moves of the year. Spears isn’t known for making a big-splash in the pass rush with only 10 sacks in 9 years, but his skills as a run stuffer are rather under-valued. He’ll fit into any of Dean Pees’ schemes, and with his huge 6’4, 320 frame, he will certainly help deal with the young crop of running backs in the AFC North.
Chris Canty is a rather huge human being, and quarterbacks in the division might get a chance to see that this year. He provides more skill in the pass-rush, and he will be a good option in a time where an edge guy needs a break, or in the case on injury.
The acquisition of Elvis Dumervil headlined the offseason for the Ravens. He wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for “fax-gate”, but for Ravens fans, the faulty fax machine is and always will be our favorite piece of machinery—for the next few years, at least.
The draft brought fresh new faces that were earned with great value. The drafting of Brandon Williams, the man who can bench 500 pounds, adds tremendous depth to the interior. The small-school animal could be the glue that keeps things together should the interior need help.
Kapron Lewis-Moore was also acquired in the draft with a 6th round draft pick. He did tear his ACL and might not be ready for 2013, but he’ll be a nice guy to keep around on IR. Many consider Lewis-Moore to be a leader, and his on-field play combined with his attitude could define the future of the Baltimore D-Line.
Obviously all of these players are considerable add-ons, but how can we forget about the talent that we already have stored deep on the team?
Besides Suggs and Ngata, there are is a considerable amount of talent all the way down to the last spot on the depth chart. Art Jones, Pernell McPhee, Bryan Hall, and DeAngelo Tyson all helped the team last year, and are worthy of snaps every game.
As many questions as there have been surrounding the state of the team, one thing is for sure—not a team in the league has the depth that the Ravens do. No matter what happens in the season trying to defend The Lombardi, the defensive line will be as solid as ever.