In Vonta Leach, the Ravens have the NFL's best fullback, according to his peers. But as they continue to creep out of the stone age of offensive football and appear to be determined to rely more on the arm of quarterback Joe Flacco this season, the Ravens must remind themselves to keep Leach involved, though even he acknowledges that the true blocking fullback is a dying breed.
To some Ravens fans, the thought of Billy Cundiff continuing to be the team¿s kicker -- after he hooked wide left a 32-yard attempt in January's 23-20 loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game -- was an unappealing possibility that demanded action.
Here is an early look at the Ravens' 2013-14 schedule, which the league released today in the NFL Fact and Record Book. This probably goes without saying but you'll have to wait about 10 months before the dates and times are released for the games.
The Ravens have a handful of needs. Most are not pressing. They have yet to address the offensive line this offseason and will be forced to do it in the draft. Even with the emergence of Torrey Smith a year ago, they are looking for another game-changer at wide receiver. Terrell Suggs lacks a true sidekick. And then there is the annual question about whether this is the year they need to prepare for life after Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. In my fifth and final first-round mock draft, I give you a semi-educated guess at whom the Ravens will select with the 29th pick. Is it still Wisconsin center Peter Konz? Read on to find out.
The 2012 NFL draft is now just over a week away. Free agency has died down, and teams are shifting their focus to the draft to round out their rosters. The Ravens are no exception. Their primary needs are still the same as they were entering the offseason: offensive line help, a pass rusher and a receiver. This mock draft -- the fourth of five I will do before the draft -- doesn't account for trades. And remember, these are called "mock" drafts for a reason. Try not to take them too seriously, folks.
The 2012 NFL draft is three weeks away, and though most teams have solidified their draft boards barring a few tweaks after prospects visit, the "silly season" of draft rumors is really starting to heat up. Need an example? How about the rumblings that the Colts are undecided about the first pick? But hey, I love mock drafts as much as you do, so allow me to contribute to the silly season with my third mock draft of the offseason.
As the clock ticks down to the 2012 NFL draft -- Round 1 is on the night of April 29 -- let's take a look at which draft prospects the Ravens are being linked to in recent mock drafts from national analysts.
After a wild first week in free agency that was punctuated with Peyton Manning signing with the Denver Broncos, we have a better idea of what needs teams will address in April's NFL draft. So now seems like a good time for our second mock draft of the offseason. (This mock draft does not account for potential trades.) And remember, these are called "mock" drafts for a reason. Try not to take them too seriously.
The Ravens would like to improve their offensive line during the offseason, but the best move they could make in free agency would be re-signing Ben Grubbs, who could soon be one of the top guards available.
It's a good thing the Ravens aren't looking for a pass-catching tight end in free agency because pickings are slim. Jermichael Finley, the top free agent tight end in this year's class, won't hit the market as the Green Bay Packers re-signed him to a two-year deal last month. That leaves the Washington Redskins' Fred Davis as the top free agent at the position, but there is a chance the Redskins could use their franchise tag to keep Davis.
Ravens running back Ray Rice is scheduled to become a free agent, but the team will place the franchise tag on him by March 5 in the hopes of working out a long-term deal with the Pro Bowl back. That's a bummer for teams looking for an elite back as Rice would have been the best available runner.
The biggest storyline of free agency, one that will send ripples throughout the rest of the offseason, is the fate of Peyton Manning, who could be released by the Indianapolis Colts, the franchise that Manning quarterbacked to a Super Bowl title in 2006. Here is a look at Manning and four other top free agent quarterbacks and where they could wind up in 2012.
NFL Combine: Peter Konz is considered the best center in the draft class and his combination of size, strength and smarts is expected to make him the latest Wisconsin offensive lineman to be taken in the first round.
This year's NFL scouting combine begins Wednesday, unofficially marking the start of draft speculation season. Before the prospects are poked and prodded, though, staff writer Matt Vensel has taken his first crack at predicting the first round of April's NFL draft.