Ravens Must Get Back To Dominant Defense


Ravens Football Was Once Synonymous With Great Defense

The Baltimore Ravens spoiled us with some of the best defensive football any fan base has ever seen. In their first Super Bowl run they had arguably the greatest defense of all time. For over a decade, the Ravens were consistently one of the best defensive teams in the NFL. The Ravens have to find a way back to playing dominant defense.

More from Ebony Bird

The defense hasn’t been awful in the last few years but it hasn’t been dominant since the 2011 season. People forget that the Ravens Super Bowl XLVII victory was won largely because Joe Flacco caught fire in the 2012 playoffs. That Super Bowl may have essentially ended with a goal line stand, but that stand was after the defense nearly surrendered a big Ravens lead.

If the Ravens hope to make it back to another Super Bowl, they must get back to their defensive excellence. Of course life was going to be different for the Ravens without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, that was a given. The Ravens lost two of the greatest defensive players of all time in the same offseason. They will never be replaced. The Ravens defense may never be the same but that doesn’t mean they can’t have the same great results.

The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl on the back of a great defense. The pass rushing combination of Von Miller and Demarcus Ware was too much for the Broncos playoff foes. In the copycat league that is the NFL, the Ravens should try to replicate the Broncos defensive model.

This means the Ravens focus should be finding a young pass rusher in the NFL Draft. Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs are in their early thirties. Suggs is coming off his second ACL injury. Whether or not Suggs and Dumervil flourish in 2015, the Ravens will have to replace them eventually.

The Ravens have the number six pick in the NFL Draft. Noah Spence looks like a Von Miller like player who explodes off the snap of the football. Joey Bosa is a freak athlete who overpowers offensive lineman with relative ease. The Ravens have a realistic chance of drafting one of these two players. Spence in particular looks like a fit for the Ravens defense and a potential game changer.

The Ravens secondary is also of great concern moving forward. It looks like the Ravens have found part of their answer in Eric Weddle. Weddle was a big free agency acquisition. He will straighten some things out in the back-end of the defense and will give them an absolute athlete at the strong safety position.

Weddle and Jimmy Smith are two solid players in the Ravens secondary. If the Ravens can add a good starting cornerback to put opposite of Smith, their secondary will be leaps and bounds better in 2016. This is why draft strategy becomes so important.

The Ravens have a chance to get their pass rusher of the future with the sixth pick. They should draft a player like Spence who will be a longtime star. Spence will help the team immediately as well and give the Ravens an explosive playmaker. In a cornerback deep draft class, Ozzie Newsome can have his pick in the second round.

Next: Ravens Not Winners In NFL Rule Changes

With the additions of a great pass rusher and a talented cornerback, the Ravens will have a chance to be dominant again on defense. They can grab both needs in the 2016 NFL Draft. It is time to return truly great defense to Baltimore.