What’s Next For Baltimore In Free Agency?
The Baltimore Ravens were busy during the first wave of free agency for the second year in a row. Just like last year, they brought in an impact starting safety in Tony Jefferson. Jefferson’s skillset pairs perfectly with team leader Eric Weddle, as he is great in run defense and can hold his own in coverage as well. Baltimore now boasts one of the top-three safety tandems in the league.
Baltimore also signed veteran running back Danny Woodhead, which could fly under the radar now, but has the potential to be the best offseason signing by the end of this upcoming season.
Then, Baltimore secured back-up QB Ryan Mallett for another year and made Brandon Williams the highest-paid nose tackle in the league.
Of course, with the high-profile signings, came the high-profile departures. Along with Williams becoming the highest paid player at his position, so did Baltimore’s other two top free agents, just for different teams. Ricky Wagner set the new market for right tackles in Detroit, while Kyle Juszczyk bolted to San Francisco for unheard of money for a full back.
So, Baltimore upgraded its secondary, defensive line, and running backs through the first wave of free agency. What’s the next move?
There are still multiple holes in the roster that need to be filled.
As well as losing their starting right tackle, the offensive line is now in need of two starters following the recent trade of Jeremy Zuttah.
Once the Front Office figures out how it will protect Franchise QB Joe Flacco, they must find him another wide receiver. Breshad Perriman and Mike Wallace both have starting potential, but a complement to their similar skill sets needs to be found.
On the defensive side of the ball, holes remain at the no. 2 corner position, starting inside linebacker, and finding multiple pass rushers may be the team’s biggest need.
Some needs will be best to fill through the draft. This draft is supposedly loaded with cornerback and pass rush talent, so Baltimore may wait until then to address those needs. Although, the team has been linked to cornerback Morris Claiborne, which I personally believe would be a great addition to this secondary.
As for wide receivers and offensive line, this draft lacks the depth of talent that the corners and pass rush provide. Baltimore made no moves in the wide receiver market while each top name receiver agreed to deals with other teams. As for the draft, Corey Davis would be very hard to pass up at 16, considering he fits what the offense needs, but behind him is questionable.
Baltimore has gotten quality play from later round offensive linemen in the past. But to count on finding two starters in a draft that lacks talent would be a large risk.
The Front Office should make a move on at least one lineman before the draft. Right tackle King Dunlap and center Nick Mangold are both on the market after being released by their respective teams. Both fit Baltimore’s needs and neither would count against the compensatory pick formula.
As of now, Baltimore is not in the running for Mangold, but Dunlap could fill in nicely at right tackle for the departed Wagner.