The Ravens crossed a couple of more items off their offseason to-do list Friday, getting their first-round draft pick under contract, adding a veteran cornerback they've been seeking and creating some room on the back end of their roster.
At the end of what was a two-game audition for 2016, Ravens quarterback Ryan Mallett said he has no regrets about signing a two-year contract that keeps him in Baltimore next year to potentially back up Joe Flacco.
Ravens quarterback Matt Schaub might not practice much this week as he remains sore from several hard hits in Sunday¿s loss to Miami, coach John Harbaugh said, and his ability to play through pain will decide his game status Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
In getting down to a 53-man roster Saturday, the Ravens showed a willingness to move on from their draft picks, the importance that they place on special teams and how much they value having defensive depth.
Wide receivers Daniel Brown, who caught a touchdown and blocked a punt in Thursday night's preseason-closing loss to the Atlanta Falcons, and Tom Nelson, offensive tackle Blaine Clausell, inside linebacker Andrew Bose and cornerback Quinton Pointer were all let go. Their releases leave the Ravens with 70 players, meaning that they'll have to make 17 more moves by 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan's injury, which forced him to sit out the Ravens' preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints, was a relatively minor one. However, it created some angst given that the second-year player has had some health issues in the past, including last season when he missed four games with a meniscus injury in his knee. The Ravens are also counting on him to replace longtime fixture Haloti Ngata along the defensive front.
The Ravens were already living on the edge when they signed strong safety Will Hill to a contract last July. They moved even closer after Matt Elam tore his biceps during the first week of the 2015 training camp, forcing him to miss the entire season.
With safety Matt Elam, the Ravens' 2013 first-round NFL draft, pick headed for injured reserve, the team must count on players like Brynden Trawick, Nick Perry, Anthony Levine, and perhaps Terrence Brooks to push projected starters Kendrick Lewis and Will Hill.
Nick Perry, a safety, and Trey DePriest, an inside linebacker, are products of the University of Alabama, the alma mater of Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and a frequent source of Ravens defensive talent. They play positions where undrafted players frequently stick on the Ravens roster.
The Ravens have invested heavily in the cornerback position this offseason, signing Jimmy Smith to a four-year, $48 million extension. The Ravens also restructured cornerback Lardarius Webb's contract. They didn't draft a cornerback until the fourth round.
Three Maryland natives will have an opportunity to impress NFL teams next week at the College Gridiron Showcase in Arlington, Texas, an all-star game that features prominent players from programs such as Alabama, Auburn and Texas.
While Eugene Monroe was largely solid in his starting debut since being acquired via trade with the notable exception of a sack and forced fumble allowed to outside linebacker Nick Perry, the offensive line overall had far too many breakdowns.
The Ravens managed to rush for only three yards on four runs during a first-and-goal situation as running backs Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce were stonewalled by the Green Bay Packers' defense. Rice generated just three yards on three runs to his right before Pierce got zero yards on a failed 4th-and-1 plunge behind left guard Kelechi Osemele instead of kicking a field goal.
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 Ravens lost an ironman and a fan favorite when outside linebacker Jarret Johnson signed a four-year, $19 million deal with the San Diego Chargers last month. Since then, head coach John Harbaugh has twice hyped up Paul Kruger, who in his fourth season is the favorite to land the starting spot that had belonged to Johnson.