It seems to me that for the last few years after the Ravens season ends, we lament their shortcomings and discuss the team’s needs. And each time we return to the same set of needs: Edge Rusher, Corner and Wide Receiver.
To their credit the Ravens refuse to reach for need on draft day. They won’t move a player up their board just to fill a hole on the roster. They’ll wait for their guy and seek value with each pick. But that still has left them somewhat empty-handed at each of the aforementioned positions.
Yes, Matt Judon looks like he has some upside and provides value as a fifth-round pick. Tavon Young had a great rookie season at corner/slot-corner and 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman finally hit the field and flashed on occasion, but still lacks consistency and reliable hands.
That said, it’s unlikely that Judon will be a difference maker. He’ll be a solid player but he lacks the explosiveness the Ravens are missing off the edge. Young looks like a steal in the fourth round but he’s vertically challenged and is best suited for a slot-corner role. As for Perriman, he just seems raw and he’ll need a lot more work to refine his game and Owings Mills isn’t exactly a developmental center for top end receivers.
I get that the Ravens value picks but at some point, sacrificing a pick or two to move up and get a playmaker can make a bigger impact than collecting a bunch of guys who are ok to have around, but just aren’t difference makers.
Back in 2010 the Ravens had a chance to move up one notch, from 25 to 24 but the price to make the move up was a third round pick. The coveted player was Dez Bryant. The Ravens thought the Patriots asking price was too high but the Cowboys didn’t and the rest is history.
All of those third-round picks like Carl Davis and the Bronson Kaufusi and the Terrence Brooks could never impact games the way Bryant can. You can say the same about some of the team’s second round picks like Arthur Brown, Maxx Williams and even Kamalei Correa who was so ostracized that you have to wonder if he had a date with one of the coach’s daughters that went bad.
And indirectly this brings us to Sunday.
A Ravens win on Sunday is a loss. It could cost them a couple of slots in draft position and as we witnessed in 2010, that can be painful. Missed opportunities like Dez Bryant have more lasting effects than winning a meaningless game this Sunday.
A (9-7) record? Big deal!
So the Ravens finish with a winning record, as if that somehow has a positive impact on 2017.
Do you really think winning on Sunday will provide momentum 9 months from now?
Does a win really benefit anyone other than John Harbaugh?