The first 3-4 picks should all be for the front 7 and a LT.
Or we could re-sign Bryant McKinnie for another year, and just completely focus on the front 7...
Kindle's brain injury was a freak thing, whether it was because he was drunk or purely an accident you can't make a future decision based on that decision not working out. Jimmy Smith has been perfectly clean off the field as far as we know--that decision looks like it won't pan out not because of his character but because of his play on the field.
I don't see those concerns with Da'Rick Rogers. His background check has to come through clean, he has to interview well, and he has to overcome the presumption that he's got problems. But if he does that I would have no problem with spending a 2nd round pick on him. In terms of his actual football ability I have him graded as my #1 receiver in the class although not necessarily my favorite receiver. If he pans out to his upside I think he has Julio Jones type potential.
Those are big IFs, but McKinnie's play over the last 2 games can't be underrated. He has been unbelievable.
McKinnie has played really well...but are the cosches really going to want to deal with him again this off season? Also, how do we know he isnt just playing hard now for a new contract that maybe the Ravens wont be able to give him?
There are a lot of questions going into this off-season. I still think Ellerbe and Kruger are the top priorities after Flacco.
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The BIGGEST thing that held this team back was offensive line play... and by FAR the biggest element of that was Michael Oher's complete futility at LT. But McKinnie has COMPLETELY changed that; he's now shut out Dwight Freeney and Elvis Dumervil in consecutive weeks. Michael Oher could never dream of that, but now he gets to play at RT where his terrible play is more easily mitigated.
I understand McKinnie is a problematic guy and the team probably would rather NOT deal with him next year, but where's the better option? I think they ought to draft a tackle, yeah, but the likelihood of that player being an upgrade over Big Mac in 2013 is very slim. I'm not saying they should throw a ton of money or a ton of years at him, but if they can re-sign him at a reasonable rate why the hell not?
I don't disagree with you that McKinnie's play was fantastic.
I just also know that sometimes it is hard for a zebra to change their stripes. He's playing great now...but he also knows that there are several teams (including Baltimore) that will need a starting caliber LT.
Goal number one has to be get Flacco, Ellerbe and Kruger under contract. Looking at the numbers i think it's doable with some releases and restructures. If they could get Mckinnie back at a number that works for both sides then maybe they dont have to take a LT later that doesnt have to play right away. However like wicked said, there is some risks involved with that and the FO has to be comfortable with Mckinnie when he's not around to do what he needs to. Outside of him letting his conditioning become a issue i see no reason why he couldnt play a solid LT another 2 years. Im not sure how likely it is but how amazing would it be to sure up the QB, LT, Mike backer and pass rusher before we even get to the draft!? Oz and Co. could really be aggressive in that draft under this scenario.
How many teams are really just an LT away from a Super Bowl? Remember, McKinnie will be 34 years old in September 2013, he's not anybody's long-term answer at LT. I think his value (both in terms of his contribution to the team and the size of his contract) is higher to the Ravens than to anybody else. He would find that out very quickly if he gauged his worth on the open market.
I really don't see how McKinnie's value is going to be any higher than the 2 year, 7.5m deal w/incentives he signed in August 2011. He's 2 years older and hasn't proven anything more since then. That's a perfectly reasonable deal for the Ravens to take and try to go and make another run in 2013 while they develop whoever their long-term starter is at LT.