2013 NFL Draft team needs: Baltimore Ravens

Christian Petersen

The Super Bowl champs lost a lot this offseason, but can continue to re-tool through the draft.


The Baltimore Ravens didn't have much time to sit back and enjoy their Super Bowl victory. Not long after winning the Lombardi Trophy, the Ravens were tasked with trying to re-tool a roster hit hard by free agent departures and retirements.

Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Anquan Boldin, Paul Kruger and others are gone, but the Ravens have already begun to fill holes. Baltimore was among the most active teams in free agency, signing a number of solid veterans to short-term contracts. Baltimore also landed defensive end Elvis Dumervil who should fill the role vacated by Kruger. Although Ozzie Newsome and company have managed to add a number of pieces, there are still holes to fill.

Top three needs:

Middle linebacker - Baltimore lost six starters from the 2012 defense with the most notable departure being the retirement of Ray Lewis. Making matters worse, the Ravens also lost Dannell Ellerbe in free agency. Baltimore signed Rolando McClain, but could still be in the market to draft one or even two middle linebackers early in the 2013 draft.

Safety - If Lewis was the most notable departure, Ed Reed was a close second. Reed and fellow starter Bernard Pollard are off to the AFC South, leaving two big holes in the back end. Michael Huff could fill one of those holes, as could James Ihedigbo, but don't be surprised if the Ravens draft a safety in the early rounds.

Offensive tackle - A late season shuffle and a resurgence from Bryant McKinnie helped fuel the Ravens playoff run, but McKinnie remains a free agent, leaving a hole at left tackle. Baltimore could still re-sign McKinnie or add another veteran, but with the draft deep on tackles, a left tackle of the future could also be an early target.

Ideal pick: The top inside linebacker available.

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