The last three seasons the Baltimore Ravens have went 5-11, 8-8 and in 2017 9-7 and have found them in unfamiliar territory- out of the playoffs each season. The Ravens in this century have won two Super Bowls and as a Steelers fan the only team I respect more than the Ravens- is the Patriots. Steelers- Ravens may be the best current rivalry in the NFL. I go into each season thinking of the Ravens as the main obstacle in the Steelers way to the AFC North title.
The Ravens need help at the playmaking positions. Joe Flacco is up and down as a quarterback. He was brilliant in their Super Bowl run back in 2012 but is erratic. He isn’t a franchise quarterback and he’s probably had his best years. But the Ravens have proven you don’t have to have a franchise qb to win a Super Bowl- Trent Dilfer was just a journeyman. The Ravens bread and butter over the years has been defense.
The Ravens have a pattern it seems of picking up veteran ‘name’ receivers who have had better years- with the exception of Steve Smith Sr. This year they have signed Crabtree from the Raiders and Brown from Arizona. I still think they need a top flight receiver. At this point in our mock draft all the receivers are still out there- Ozzie Newsome is retiring at the end of 2018- what better way to end his excellent career as a GM- than to take with his last first round pick a player from his old Alabama Crimson Tide.
With the 15th pick in the NFL draft- the Ravens select WR Calvin Ridley 6’0″ 189 4.3 in the 40. Ridley is rated by most as the premier receiver in the draft. He is an excellent route runner with game breaking speed. His stock has fallen a little after the combine but he seems to me to be a player who looks better on the football field than doing drills. The Ravens since 2005 have only taken one receiver in the draft and after three seasons 2015 first rounder Reshad Perriman has done little but pick up and cash his paycheck. He’s a bust. Ridley looks to be a safe bet to produce at the NFL level.