New head coach, same quarterback problem
Scouts Inc. puts the Ravens on the clock, breaking down their offseason moves and looking at what questions still need answers.
As the NFL draft approaches, "SportsCenter" is putting every NFL team with a first-round pick "On the Clock," and Scouts Inc. will break down each team and look at what questions still need answering.
For a complete list of all of the Ravens' free agents and all their offseason signings, check out Scouts Inc.'s free-agent tracker.
• Who they signed
• Who they lost
• Complete free-agent tracker
The Ravens also have had continuous quarterback problems, which also influenced Billick's removal. New head coach John Harbaugh has a major project on his hands at the most important position on the field, but this team does still have a lot of star power and some exceptional leadership within the locker room. Harbaugh was the Eagles' defensive backs coach last year and must prove immediately he won't be overwhelmed by his new job.
Key AdditionsThe Ravens did not make any whopping signings this offseason, and their salary-cap situation ensures they will not. But LB Terrell Suggs was given the franchise tag, which should ensure that he remains a key component in the Ravens' pressure defense.
Harbaugh has an extensive special-teams background and obviously will put a premium on that phase of the game. The signing of special-teams ace LB Brendon Ayanbadejo is an excellent addition and sends a message to the Ravens' locker room that special teams will be extremely important under this regime.
The Pick (No. 8 overall):
DE/LB Vernon Gholston, Ohio State
Todd McShay: If they can't get one of their top two players and are unable to trade out, the Ravens would then look at Gholston, OT Branden Albert and CB Leodis McKelvin, in that order.
• Complete mock draft
• Vote: Team needs
Key LossesBaltimore released RB Mike Anderson and starting C Mike Flynn to open some cap room. Anderson will not be missed, but Flynn's experience could be missed on what potentially could be a very young but talented offensive line. Plus, future Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden has not yet announced whether he plans to retire. His play has fallen off as of late, and his loss would not be as substantial as many tend to think.
Remaining QuestionsSerious questions surround the quarterback position in Baltimore, and the answer may not be on the present roster. On draft day, general manager Ozzie Newsome could be very aggressive and put a package together to trade up for Boston College QB Matt Ryan, draft Louisville QB Brian Brohm in the first round or make a play in the second round for someone like Delaware QB Joe Flacco or Michigan QB Chad Henne.
Even though the Ravens' problem at quarterback looms large, cornerback could be equally as worrisome. CB Chris McAlister is getting older and missed a lot of time due to injury last year, while CB Samari Rolle is no longer suitable for a starting role because he has looming health issues, epilepsy among them.
Baltimore desperately needs to add a starting cornerback and allow defensive coordinator Rex Ryan to be as aggressive with his play calling as he has become accustomed. No one understands that a great defense can keep you in every game as well as the Ravens do. Baltimore also gets four compensatory picks to use on draft day, which should add some much-needed depth.
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.
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On The Clock
• NFL draft: Saturday-Sunday, Radio City Music Hall in New York. First round begins at 3 p.m. ET. Round 3 begins at 10 a.m. Sunday.
• Format: Teams have 10 minutes per pick in Round 1, seven minutes in Round 2 and 5 minutes in Rounds 3-7.
• TV: ESPN coverage beginning at 3 p.m. ET Saturday.
• Draft Central | First-round order | Discuss
During the past month, Scouts Inc. examined the state of all 32 teams heading in to the draft. Meanwhile, "SportsCenter" broke down each team's needs.
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