McClain looked a lot better outside IMO. The defense definitely has to be looked at. I think Oz has missed a bit more lately. You can't say it's entirely his fault (Kindle), but it hasn't been as good as it has in years past. Pretty much every position needs help on D.
I hate Notre Dame.... grew up in Chicago and all I ever heard was Notre Dame this and Notre Dame that lol......
Manti Teo though is pretty beastly and would nicely fill a need at MLB. Unless it all goes to hell in a handbasket I kinda doubt he is on the board when we are drafting and considering the number of holes we have to fill, I would be unlikely to move up and get him.
It'd be awesome to snag a 3-4 end who could also rush the passer in a beastly fashion ala JJ Watt. They also should definitely invest a top pick in an ILB. I think Ellerbe should be re-signed if he keeps up his play, but I'm just not sure on McClain. Maybe move him over to OLB? The pass rush is another issue. We haven't had two dominant bookend rushers since Suggs/Thomas of 06. I really like Upshaw, he is a bull vs the run, but does he have the ability to even be an effective rusher? I don't even know if Kruger is back next season unless he picks up his play. I also like McClellan a lot, he can play inside or outside pretty well. The DL needs major help though, there I agree. The secondary could use some better depth IMO, especially at S.
Are we resigning him? If we don't then we NEED a starting safety, too.
Yes, we need a DE in a big way.
We need an ILB. And we need them like before this year.
So, there is Eric Reid at S, Teo at ILB, and their is Sheldon Richardson (Missouri, 6'3", 295) at DT, but I think he can fill that DE role vacated by Redding.
I also think Upshaw has improved every single game.
He is learning under fire.
And I think the BIGGEST help to him has just arrived in Suggs.
Suggs will have the biggest affect on Upshaw.
He will learn by watching first hand and watching with the film what Suggs does and how he does it. Right now, Suggs will become his biggest asset.
So, lets give Upshaw a little time to learn some pass rushing skills first hand.
FYI - CBS Sports 2013 rankings:
It'd be a waste of a pick right now. He'd do nothing with a big guard in top of him pretty much every play. The game is won and lost on the trenches.
We've been great on here for years, and its really showing how important it is now. Ray Lewis just doesn't drop of like that in one year, he was protected by a good dline last year. We don't have it this year for whatever reason and its showing.
We need a 5 Tec and NT I'm the first two picks if they are close to BPA.
You know we won't get him unless we have a Top 10 pick. We all know how uber-conservative short of being [insert racial stereotype here] in regards to being cheap in the draft.
He loves stockpiling those 5th and 6th rounders though... So unless Te'O falls that far...
We absolutely have a shot at him.
Dont'a Hightower was considered the best ILB prospect last year and he fell to the mid 20's. T'eo is arguably on the same level as Hightower, so I doubt a team reaches for him before pick 20. I'd be really surprised.
If the Ravens are picking in the 20's, then I think they'll have a crack at him, but if (hopefully) they are picking in the 30's in round 1, then they may not.
That said, I'm beginning to think that DT might be a bigger need or AS big of a need as ILB. Ngata is the only DT on the books right now who can generate any sort of pressure and he is doubled every other play. Art Jones is a rotational guy, McPhee is a situational pass rusher (who is hurt right now), Cody is a 2-down run stopper who plays with really terrible technique, Bryan Hall is an undersized project, and DeAngelo Tyson is still kind of up in the air.
Other than Ngata, the Ravens don't have any other DT/5-technique DE that can shed blockers and get into the backfield. I mean, JJ Watt (granted, he is arguably the best DT/DE in the league right now) single-handedly changes the game with how he plays. If the Ravens can get an impact player like that across from Ngata, then things will be a lot easier to build off of.
If I were Baltimore (Along with ILB's) I would be looking at these guys:
Kawan Short, Purdue, 6'3" 310lbs
Louis Nix, Notre Dame 6'4" 325lbs
Margus Hunt, Southern Methodist, 6'7" 285lbs
Sheldon Richardson, Missouri, 6'4" 290lbs
Bennie Logan, LSU, 6'3" 290lbs
Jon Jenkins, Georgia, 6'3" 355lbs
Might be some interesting FA's as well. Not entirely sure who yet, but there definitely could be some interesting names out there.
To me, taking someone like Nix (who has been a monster this year at NT and he is only 20 or 21 years old) in the bottom of round 1 and looking at someone like Alex Ogletree (Georgia), Gerald Hodges (Penn State), or CJ Mosely (Alabama) in rounds 2,3, and 4 would be the best value.
It seems like black magic to me, but it seems like every year New England has a plethora of picks. I wish Ozzie would accumulate picks like that.
Hell, how great would it have been to grab Chandler Jones and Hightower? Not that I'm disappointed in Upshaw, but that's a great draft NE just had.
Don't rule out another pass rusher either, we could always try moving Upshaw inside and get a guy who has a quick first step and can bring more pressure the opposite side to Suggs.
That Ziggy Ansah guy, out of BYU, is starting to get a lot of hype. A real physical freak like JPP, might push his stock into the first round...
Kuechly shot up the boards after an outstanding combine. If T'eo can have a combine like that (which he certainly could) then I could absolutely see a team willing to spend a top 15 pick on him. He's a fantastic prospect, but I don't know if he can put up numbers like that and I think a lot of teams may only view him as a 3-4 ILB. We'll see. I'd love to have him in a Ravens uniform and honestly I think if they want him then they will have to trade up for him regardless.
That said, I still think maybe going DT or 5-technique DE in round 1 and then looking at ILB and OL the next couple of rounds.
Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges are two LB's to keep an eye on. Both guys are at Penn State. Hodges reminds me of Navorro Bowman or Darryl Washington. He plays fast, he hits hard, he tackles well, and he has a ton of upside.
I wonder if it might not behove the Ravens to build up a rotation of DEs/OLBs to keep an effective passrush going. The lack of passrush has been an issue for years now and is really being exposed by the inability to get off the field on third down. If something can be done about that it could make a big difference to our fortunes on the road.