The Baltimore Ravens had an interesting draft, during which, believe it or not, they didn’t manage to pull off a trade either up or down, in spite of the fact that they were very willing to do so. They added one of the top cornerbacks in the draft class in the first round then bolstered their front even with edge defenders Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams and defensive end Chris Wormley, the latter two I believe whom both had pre-draft visits with Pittsburgh.
After losing two offensive linemen, the Ravens also added two linemen back-to-back in the fourth and fifth rounds, and then finished off the draft class with another defensive back in Chuck Clark, a six-footer who I believe has some position flexibility.
But they didn’t address the wide receiver position after losing two of their top four targets in that group over the course of the offseason after Steve Smith retired and Kamar Aiken signed a free agent deal elsewhere. And they in no way replenished the starters along the offensive line that they lost.
This is undoubtedly a roster still with holes. And Ravens Genenal Manager Ozzie Newsome is aware of this. During the Ravens’ post-draft press conference, he was bombarded by questions about those holes and how he plans to fill them, to which he responded, “we are not done acquiring players”.
It is true, after all. The Ravens are routinely among the most active teams in the veteran free agent market after the draft, frequently relying upon street free agents in order to maintain their cache in terms of compensatory draft picks.
Last season, for example, they added cornerback Jerraud Powers and guard Vladimir Ducasse after the draft, both of whom played roles for the team in 2016. The year before, the signed cornerback Kyle Arrington, and yet another year before they, they added safety Will Hill. The signing of Daryl Smith after the draft in 2013 was a big one. All of these players made contributions as post-draft free agent pickups.
“You know there are going to be players that are going to be released after the draft”, Newsome told reporters. “There are going to be players that are going to be released in training camp. We are not done. The draft is a big part of it, and we are not done with the 53-man squad that we are going to play with when we open up against Cincinnati”.
The general manager was asked directly about the wide receiver position that he failed to address in the draft. “Am I going to be spending between now and up until we play Cincinnati to continue to improve the football team and try to get an additional wide receiver? Yes”, he responded.
It will be a week from today at earliest, however, that they are likely to sign anybody, because it is on May 9 that signings no longer factor into the compensatory draft pick formula. The Ravens had just seven draft picks this year, and they are not accustomed to that.