Baltimore Ravens: Signing Justin Houston would solve a couple problems
The Baltimore Ravens should sign Justin Houston. Signing Houston would solve two problems for the purple and black. For starters, it would give Baltimore a sure thing at the outside linebacker position:
The Baltimore Ravens should sign Justin Houston to give themselves a proven commodity at outside linebacker. The Ravens have a lot of youth at the position, despite losing Za’Darius Smith in free agency. It’s now time for Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser to step up and show what they can do. The problem is that the Ravens don’t know what they will get from them. Signing Houston would replace Terrell Suggs as the savvy veteran pass rusher. The Ravens know what they would get from Houston, who is a proven problem on the edge of any defense.
The Ravens defense actually is more in tact than it seemed like it was when their stars were busy leaving in free agency. With the addition of Earl Thomas, the Ravens have one of the better secondaries in the league; they may even have the best group of defensive backs in the league. The Ravens still have a very good defensive front, it’s not like Don Martindale has nothing to work with. The one glaring thing the Ravens have is at outside linebacker. Baltimore has too many things working for the defense not to invest in pass rush.
Williams and Bowser have potential, but at a key position potential can go both ways. The Ravens lost two outside linebackers. If Williams and Bowser aren’t both the answer, the ravens will be losing a lot of production from the outside linebacker position. Houston would give the Ravens something they can count on. That’s something they really need to maximize the huge potential of this defensive unit.
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2. It would free up their options for the NFL Draft:
If the Ravens don’t sign Houston, they will have seriously consider drafting a pass rusher with the 22nd overall pick. The Ravens still have glaring needs and none of them is as obvious as the wide receiver position. It feels like a year where the Ravens have a chance to finally draft a receiver that’s worth it with a first round pick. With a lot of good receiver options like Kelvin Harmon, N’Keal Harry and A.J. Brown possibly on the board, the 22nd pick could be the perfect chance to fix the receiving woes. Without Houston, the Ravens have two glaring needs and one of them is a premium position for the defense.
When the Ravens signed Mark Ingram they set their backfield in order. The Ravens could have bet on Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon, but they wanted to lock in their plan for the running back spot. What does this have to do with Houston and the defense? Ingram eliminated an objective for them in the NFL Draft. The Ravens need to do the same thing with the outside linebacker position to put themselves in the best position for the NFL Draft.
Imagine this hypothetical. The Ravens are on the clock and they think they finally have their guy at wide receiver. Yet they have to take their time on the clock because they also have a chance to take a dynamic pass rusher. The pass rusher position is no longer a surplus for Baltimore. If the Ravens are in this position they are stuck in between a rock and a hard place. Which positional need to the Ravens chose to address?