Jan 3, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (15) during the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2014 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Missouri won 41-31. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
We all know the history when it comes to the Baltimore Ravens and their propensity to draft defensive players in the first (and early) rounds. This is a team that invests their precious draft picks on the side of the ball they deem most important to winning. And for the most part, it has paid off over the years.
But this offseason feels a little different. Aside from the team professing their love for pass rushers and corners in the upcoming draft, their actions seem to be somewhat telling. Aside from resigning running back Justin Forsett and offensive lineman Jah Reid, they haven’t done much in the way of bolstering any offensive positions in free agency.
For a team that has signed a lot of defensive players – Chris Canty, Lawrence Guy, Christo Bilukidi, and Kendrick Lewis – they haven’t shown much interest in offensive free agents. The same cannot be said for defensive free agents, as the Baltimore Ravens were linked to numerous defensive backs who ultimately priced themselves out of the team’s price range.
Meanwhile, the Ravens have been happy to let several core offensive players walk in free agency. Torrey Smith and Owen Daniels are gone, players who represent two of the three leading receivers from 2014. Jacoby Jones, last year’s return man, is a Charger. Aside from signing a new backup quarterback in Matt Schaub to replace Tyrod Taylor, the Ravens have largely ignored offensive skill players in free agency.
So could it be possible that the Baltimore Ravens are going to go heavily after difference making offensive players in the early rounds of the draft? It would make a lot of sense. Aside from cornerback, the argument can be made that the Ravens have much greater needs on the offensive side of the ball – namely the lack of a seam stretching tight end, a young early down running back, a field stretching wide receiver, and a guard.
With both Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele scheduled to hit free agency next offseason, drafting a guard is probably a must this year. The Ravens probably won’t be able to afford to keep both, realistically. It’s an underrated need but one that won’t go ignored by the team’s braintrust.
So will we see two or three early picks go to offense, a move that would be very un-Baltimore Raven like? It isn’t out of the realm of possibility, and adding a couple of offensive playmakers would make this a much more dangerous team in 2015.
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