It's easy to get overlooked on the Ravens, and more so on the offensive line. Marshal Yanda is a five-time Pro Bowler at right guard. Center Jeremy Zuttah is the ninth-year anchor in the middle. And rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley was the sixth overall pick in the 2016 draft. The lack of attention might be frustrating to some, but to right tackle Rick Wagner, it is welcomed.
From his seat at the Super Bowl on Sunday, Vonta Leach will summon the past — the Ravens' ascent to the top in the 2012 season and that glorious scoreboard, at game's end, which he'll not forget: Ravens 34, San Francisco 49ers 31.
There seems to be a consensus among football pundits leaguewide: The Ravens, who annually lose veteran talent and replace it with young and unproven players, will again enter the season as one of the better teams in the AFC, and in good position to make the playoffs for the seventh time in head coach John Harbaugh's eight seasons.
Ten years since last picking a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL draft, the Ravens used the 26th overall selection on Central Florida's Breshad Perriman, considered one of the fastest players in the draft.
Before the NFL turns over the league¿s calendar each year, top Ravens officials join owner Steve Bisciotti in Florida for a comprehensive look at the upcoming season and the one that will follow it, taking into account roster construction, salary cap issues and free agency.
As they prepare for this year's draft, which gets underway with Thursday's first round, the Ravens seemingly have more needs on offense than defense. They want another running back and a tight end and they are thin on outside targets for quarterback Joe Flacco. If there was a draft where the Ravens would target offense, this would seemingly be it.
The Ravens expressed confidence that with their 10 picks, they will able to fill some of their primary needs in the 2015 NFL draft. They are thin at wide receiver, tight end and cornerback. Team officials want to add another pass rusher, too.
Kendrick Lewis, 26, started all 16 games at free safety for the Houston Texans last season and led them with 84 tackles to go along with two interceptions. The season before, he started 15 of 16 games with the Kansas City Chiefs, making 61 tackles and one interception.
Annually lacking the salary cap space to make major outside additions and content to reward their own players while building through the draft, the Ravens traditionally stay quiet through the first couple days of free agency when money changes hands at an eye-popping rate.
After a season in which Joe Flacco was sacked barely more than once per game, a journeyman running back ran for more than 1,200 yards, and the line blocked for the league's sixth-best rushing attack, the unit that took the worst of the criticism for 2013's 8-8 campaign emerged as a strength last season, and potentially for years to come.
Houston Texans linebacker J.J. Watt has emerged as one of the decade's most dominant NFL defensive players. He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year two years ago when he recorded a career-high 20.5 sacks. He's regarded as the frontrunner to win it again this year with 16.5 sacks and five touchdowns, including three touchdown catches as a red-zone tight end along with an interception return for a touchdown and a fumble return for a score.