By beefing up the defensive line, the Ravens have made finding a play-maker at the wide receiver position a top need in the NFL Draft:
One of the things that held the Baltimore Ravens back in their playoff game against the Tennessee Titans was a lack of play-makers at the wide receiver position. It was a showcase of dropped passes and missed opportunities. Marquise Brown had a big day, yet the Ravens were desperate for another target to step up. Wide receiver is need number one.
The Ravens added to the defensive line with Calais Campbell and Michael Brockers. Matt Judon is most assuredly coming back (either on a long-term deal or the franchise tag). The Ravens aren’t far away from having their defense well taken care of. The secondary and the defensive line are both elite groupings.
The Ravens have made it clear that priority number one this offseason was improving their defensive front. The Ravens have already added more pass rush and have basically made a promise that nobody is going to run all over the purple and black for the next couple of seasons.
If the Ravens want to make another move for the defense via free agency, they can do that. Everson Griffen, Clay Matthews, Pernell McPhee and Jimmy Smith are all possible moves that would make sense. Free agency is for the defense, so the priority in the NFL Draft has to be wide receiver. Eric DeCosta’s job is simple. He has to give the team a chance to be balanced with as much talent as they can fit on the roster. The defense got some attention and the offense now must get some.
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When DeCosta sent Hayden Hurst to the Falcons, he sent away a player who had 30 receptions. That’s a big deal when the wide receiver position is basically just Marquise Brown, Willie Snead and whatever they can expect from Miles Boykin. That’s not a knock on Boykin, it’s just admitting that Baltimore can’t bank on a huge boost from him.
When you look at the free agent market, it’s hard to see a perfect fit for the Ravens. There are still some options, yet there are no moves they have to make. Robby Anderson, Geronimo Allison, and Rashard Higgins all make some sense, but the draft offers much more upside. DeCosta got a hit with Brown last year. He has to see if he can find a star receiver two years in a row.
Lamar Jackson is the second unanimous MVP in NFL history and the running game figures to stay historically good. The Ravens are a star wide receiver away from having a great offense. Imagine how dangerous the Ravens would be if they had two young receivers putting up big numbers. Mark Andrews would become an even more dangerous weapon because Jackson could truly spread the ball around.
The Ravens have the 28th pick in the NFL Draft this year. They also have two second round picks and two third round picks. The Ravens have no excuse not to find a young star to pair with Brown at the wide receiver position. Interior linebackers, edge rushers and interior offensive linemen are going to be there for the taking in the first two days of the draft. Baltimore has to prioritize the wide receiver position first and foremost.
So look out for names like Justin Jefferson, Brandon Aiyuk and Tee Higgins. They could all be in play for the purple and black. Finding more talent at the wide receiver position is something that DeCosta must do for his MVP quarterback.