Baltimore Ravens have 3 fairly equal needs heading into NFL Draft

Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens top 3 needs are about equal as they head into the month of the 2019 NFL Draft:

The Baltimore Ravens have three main concerns right now. Will they have enough talent on the offense around Lamar Jackson at the play-making positions? At the moment the Ravens wide receiver position is looking like a bottom tier grouping. Will the Ravens be competent enough along the offensive line? In 2018 the Ravens showed they needed upgrades at center and left guard, but at the moment nothing has changed. Who will replace the production of Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith? Pass rush is a major need.

It’s hard to rank these needs because any one of them could sink the Ravens in 2019. The Ravens have an elite secondary but without enough pass rush, the defense will be incomplete. Baltimore wants to see Lamar Jackson grow into the starting quarterback that can lift the franchise back to being a perennial playoff team. Jackson will have a hard time developing as a passer without a full set of talented receivers. Offensive line woes are always the most obvious of problems.

The wide receiver position is something the Ravens must fix because otherwise they will be the most predictable team in football. Everyone knows that Greg Roman wants to call an offense that is heavily concentrated on the running game. Every one knows that the Lamar Jackson has strides to make as a passer at the NFL level. Without talent in the passing game that keeps defenses honest, the Ravens will be the most painfully predictable football team in the league.

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Getting the right wide receivers can hide some of Jackson’s deficiencies as a young quarterback. A legitimate deep threat would help Jackson make some of his flashy plays with his arm. A big bodied receiver who can go up and get the football would help with his accuracy issues. Jackson’s confidence would be greatly boosted by the right connection in the passing game.

Jackson seems a bit conservative as a passer, but his strengths come out when he has fun and plays with a backyard football style. The Ravens need Jackson to sling it all over the field. He sees it, now he has to believe it as a passer.

The Ravens offensive line got absolutely worked in the playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers. That can’t happen moving forward. Jackson’s confidence relies on the interior of the offensive line giving him a chance. You know what doesn’t help somebody become a better passer? Running because the offensive line gave him no better option. The needs on the offensive line are self explanatory.

The Ravens have a lot of good quarterbacks on their schedule and there is no defense to a perfect throw. Pass rush is incredibly important and is the basic foundation of Don Martindale’s defense. Martindale likes to crowd the line of scrimmage and make the opposing offense play a guessing game of where the pressure is coming from. To do this, you need an honest threat of pass rush. The Ravens have Matt Judon after that they just have young players with potential.

Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser have great athletic characteristics and have both shown glimpses of why the Ravens took both of them in the same draft class. They also had trouble taking snaps away from Judon, Suggs and Smith. Suggs and Smith got a lot of reps because the coaches knew exactly what they were going to get from them. Baltimore can’t count on Williams and Bowser suddenly breaking out and being dominant players.

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The purple and black have a lot of work to do. They have three needs that standout. If the Ravens don’t fix at least two of these needs before the season, 2019 will be a challenge. These three needs are all fundamentally important components of a winning football tem.