Baltimore Ravens Team Needs: Draft Wrap Up
The Baltimore Ravens drafted 11 players during the course of the 2016 NFL draft. This ties the San Francisco 49ers for the second-most players drafted by any one team this year. Only the Cleveland Browns had more with 14 players drafted.
But despite the many new additions, the Ravens still have some position groups that need more depth. There is only so much upgrading that could be done in one draft. Now it remains to be seen whether these weaknesses will be addressed by signing new free agents or if someone unexpected can step up in training camp. Here are those needs that the Ravens still need to address after the draft.
Interior Offensive Linemen
The Ravens did address their offensive line issues by drafting two offensive linemen, both offensive tackles. Ronnie Stanley went to the Ravens sixth overall and Alex Lewis out of Nebraska was picked in the fourth round. The hope for Stanley is that he can grow into the left tackle that protects Joe Flacco's blind side for the next decade. Lewis meanwhile doesn't have super high expectations as a fourth round pick, though he has the plus of being a versatile player who could line up at either tackle or guard.
But the fact remains that the Ravens did not draft any offensive guards in the draft even after losing starting left guard Kelechi Osemele in free agency. This is even more surprising when considering the lack of depth behind projected starting guards Marshal Yanda and John Urschel. The Ravens did sign several undrafted guards and the only other backup guard currently on the roster is second-year player Leon Brown (who was also undrafted).
There are several tackles like Lewis, who could also play at guard. Players like Ryan Jensen and De'Ondre Wesley could be plugged in at guard. Still the lack of depth at guard is still a little disconcerting and it wouldn't be all that shocking if the team signs a veteran who gets cut before training camp.
Cornerback has been one of the Ravens' top needs this entire offseason. Yet in both free agency and the draft, the Ravens did not make signing a new cornerback a top priority. They re-signed Shareece Wright early in free agency and it's is now looking like he could contend for a starting corner position. In the draft, the Ravens waited until the fourth round before selecting Tavon Young out of Temple and then Maurice Canady out of Virginia in the sixth round.
Young has potential, but he is on the shorter side at 5'9". Canady is taller, but he is still a super raw prospect. With talk being that Lardarius Webb will switch to strong safety, the Ravens are still a little weak on corner depth. It is confusing why the team would allow this to happen when the last two seasons saw the team struggle in pass defense after having defensive backs suffer injuries, revealing how little depth the team had at the position.
Ever since Daryl Smith left in free agency, it has been uncertain as to who will start at inside linebacker next to C.J. Mosely. There was talk that the Ravens could select a linebacker early in the draft. And they did, but it looks like second round pick Kamalei Correa out of Boise State is more suited to play at outside linebacker.
Right now, Zach Orr looks to be the presumptive favorite to be the second starter at middle linebacker. Arthur Brown lingers on the roster still, but he grows perilously close to being labeled a bust after accumulating just 17 tackles in three seasons. Albert McClellan and undrafted rookie Cavellis Luckett could also be in the running for the spot.
Inside linebacker remains a point of weakness for the team, even with Mosely earning a Pro Bowl appearance in 2014. There is just not enough depth behind him and it still remains possible that the answer for the other starting MLB is not yet on the roster.
James Reagan writes for the Ravens on Pro Football Spot. Have any input on which areas of the Ravens are still weaknesses? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @james__reagan.