Will Ravens Make More Veteran Additions?
The Ravens have filled just about every hole on the roster this offseason.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome was active in free agency and made the most of his 11 draft picks, adding players at safety, tight end, wide receiver, pass rusher, running back, left tackle, defensive tackle and cornerback.
But Head Coach John Harbaugh acknowledged "you can't fill every need in the draft," and the Ravens may look at the free-agent market to bring in veteran help at a couple of positions.
"They traditionally add a veteran or two either before or during training camp," The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec wrote. "That could lead to the Ravens signing an inside linebacker, perhaps A.J. Hawk, or a veteran cornerback."
The Ravens parted ways with veteran Daryl Smith this offseason, putting young linebackers Arthur Brown and Zach Orr likely in line for the starting job next to C.J. Mosley.
Zrebiec brought up Hawk as a potential solution after he was released by the Bengals on April 26. The veteran linebacker was a former first-round pick who has spent 10 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Packers.
Hawk has plenty of experience, but Zrebiec isn't entirely convinced that he fits what the Ravens want to do defensively.
"I've gotten a lot of questions about A.J. Hawk, who is available after recently being let go by the Cincinnati Bengals, but he's 32 years old and would he be that much better in coverage than Smith was?" Zrebiec wrote. "Arthur Brown and Zachary Orr are obviously unproven as defensive regulars, but they both are quick linebackers with coverage skills. The Ravens pass defense was much improved over the second half of the season and that coincided with Orr being on the field more in obvious passing downs."
The Ravens will also likely monitor the cornerback market.
They have Jimmy Smith, Shareece Wright, Kyle Arrington and Will Davis returning, and they also used a fourth-round pick on Temple's Tavon Young. But Baltimore has seen first-hand over the last few years the need for cornerback depth, and Newsome could pounce if a quality corner is released.
The Redskins just cut veteran corner Chris Culliver, and Zrebiec thinks more moves like that will happen in the coming days. The Ravens have found quality players late in the process over the years like cornerback Josh Wilson and left tackle Bryant McKinnie, and Zrebiec expects the Ravens to try to go that route again.
"There's not a whole lot available, but more and more veterans will be hitting the open market in the days ahead," Zrebiec wrote. "The Ravens have the cap space to make a couple of modest additions."
*Perriman's Father Hospitalized, On Life Support *
Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman tweeted earlier this week that his father, former NFL receiver Brett Perriman, had been hospitalized.
Miami-area radio host Andy Slater reported that the 50-year-old Perriman was hospitalized Tuesday night after collapsing from "extremely high blood pressure." Perriman was put on life support Tuesday and remained on it Wednesday morning, Slater reported.
The elder* *Perriman went to the University of Miami and spent 10 seasons in the NFL. He played for four NFL teams, but spent the bulk of his career with the Detroit Lions.
Friends and family members have taken to Twitter the last two days asking for support, and we're definitely praying for Perriman to make a full recovery.
Behind-The-Scenes Look At Victor Ochi's Pre-Draft Process
The Ravens undrafted free agent class will be finalized Friday when the team takes the field for rookie minicamp, but one of the reported additions is pass rusher Victor Ochi.
The pass rusher out of Stony Brook was considered one of the best small-school prospects in the class, and ESPN's Mel Kiper even said in February that "someone is going to get Victor Ochi in the third round and is going to have themselves a heck of a player getting after the quarterback."
Ochi ended up going undrafted, and the Ravens made a strong push for him as soon as the seventh round ended. Newsday had a video crew with Ochi on draft weekend, and they captured a phone call between him and Ravens Defensive Assistant Drew Wilkins.
"Just talked to Coach Harbaugh," Wilkins told Ochi. "He said, 'Do what we got to do to get you here.' What can we do to make you a Raven? Just tell me what we got to do."
Indianapolis was also in pursuit of Ochi, but the recruiting pitch from the Ravens reportedly worked and the pass rusher will have a chance to prove himself in Baltimore. The 6-foot-1, 246-pound defender is still raw but has plenty of potential.
Ochi is coming off a season where he had 13 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss, and the disappointment of going undrafted seems to be giving him some fuel heading into minicamp.
"It's about how you handle adversity," Ochi said. "It's not where you come from that matters. It's just what you do when you get the opportunity."
DeCosta Sees Similarities Between Torrey Smith And Chris Moore
Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta said going into this year's draft that the plan was to find a mid-round receiver who would end up turning into a premier playmaker, and they certainly hope they accomplished that with the addition of Cincinnati's Chris Moore.
Baltimore picked up Moore in the fourth round, and DeCosta compared him to a popular former Raven.
"As we looked at him, we saw similar traits to a guy like Torrey Smith," DeCosta said in an interview with WBAL radio. "This is a guy that just made big plays in big games against the best corners in football. He's an explosive, big target. I think he's got good hands to catch away from his body in traffic, and he shows burst."
Moore was a big-play threat in college, where he averaged 19.3 yards per catch in his four-year career. He has the speed to take the top off a defense and DeCosta thinks he'll be an ideal fit with quarterback Joe Flacco.
"Joe can put the ball downfield and we think Chris Moore can go and get it," DeCosta said. "We're just excited about him. He's a playmaker."
This was just a piece of a much longer interview, and you can listen to the entire segment below.