One-time teammates at Ohio State, Joey Bosa and Noah Spence are now viewed as the top two edge rushers in April's draft, and either of them could be a solution in the Ravens' quest to jump-start a pass rush that did too little and was often far too late during a disappointing 2015 season.
To make up ground in the AFC North as well as the conference, the Ravens need to have a quality draft because they might not have enough salary cap room to bring in high-profile free agents. The team's draft record has been disappointing since the late 2000s when the Ravens selected players who made an immediate impact, like guards Ben Grubbs and Marshal Yanda in 2007 and quarterback Joe Flacco and running back Ray Rice in 2008.
Shaquil Barrett left Baltimore as a 15-year-old, seeking structure and motivation, and wanting to avoid getting caught in a trap that had ensnared so many teenagers around him. He has since been to many places in between. His latest stop might be the most improbable one of them all. Barrett, a reserve outside linebacker and special teams standout for the Denver Broncos, will play in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday.
The welcome to the NFL moments for Darius Kilgo were plentiful during his first season with the Denver Broncos this fall. The former Maryland defensive tackle endured two-a-days at rookie minicamps last May, appeared in the Broncos' season opener against Baltimore in September and watched Tom Brady try to lead a last-minute New England comeback in the AFC championship game last week. And there's a bunch more ahead for him in the next week.
Cam Newton brings an added dimension to the quarterback position. There have been signal-callers — like Steve Young, Fran Tarkenton and Steve McNair — who ran out of necessity, and others, like Seattle's Russell Wilson, who took it further with some designed runs. But Newton is a threat as both a passer and runner, and unlike the others, he just doesn't give a damn who he has to fly over to win the championship.
When coach John Harbaugh said earlier in the week that the Ravens' needed their offensive tackles to play better, it was affirmation of something that James Hurst already knew. Hurst replaced Eugene Monroe at left tackle early in last Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos and he struggled to block DeMarcus Ware, allowing seven quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Ravens right tackle Rick Wagner had similar problems on the other side dealing with Von Miller.