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Mailbag: What's the Plan at Center? 

G/C Bradley Bozeman
G/C Bradley Bozeman

Downing: Zeitler will fit in great to this offensive line and will step immediately into the starting right guard spot. That's the easy part. Center remains a bit more of a mystery. I still think moving Bradley Bozeman to center is a possibility. He's established himself as a high-quality left guard, but he played center in college and could be the best center on the team. If Bozeman slides to center, then the Ravens could move Ben Powers or Tyre Phillips to left guard. The Ravens also still have Patrick Mekari and Trystan Colon-Castillo, and I wouldn't rule out one of them winning the starting center job.

Obviously there are some great unknowns with the offensive line right now. The first is whether the Ravens trade Orlando Brown Jr. and the second is how they address the line in the draft. Drafting a center is definitely still on the table (I mentioned some specific options in yesterday's Final Drive). The takeaway here is that the Ravens have options, but the line is still very much under construction.

Brown: I don't think the Ravens will sign a free agent pass rusher before the draft. They're not going to overpay, and with Jadeveon Clowney, Justin Houston and Melvin Ingram III among those still unsigned, there's no shortage of veterans available. I think the Ravens can afford to be patient until after the draft.

I do believe Baltimore will draft at least one pass rusher, if not two. This year's draft is stocked with talented pass rushers like Jayson Oweh of Penn State, Azeez Ojulari of Georgia and Jaelan Phillips of Miami who have been linked to the Ravens with the No. 27 pick. After re-signing Tyus Bowser and Pernell McPhee, the Ravens can afford to draft an edge rusher who may not be strong against the run. A pass-rushing specialist who pressures the quarterback consistently would help Baltimore's defense in obvious passing situations.

Losing Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue definitely left Baltimore shorthanded in the pass-rushing department. However, Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale can still dial up creative blitz packages to keep quarterbacks off balance. I think the Ravens will attack their pass rush in the draft, then decide if they need to add a veteran.

Brown: I'd go with Houston over Ingram. I'm impressed that Houston has a total of 19 sacks over the last two seasons, including eight sacks last year. I also like that Houston hasn't missed a game in two seasons, compared to Ingram, who suffered a knee injury in 2020 and was limited to seven games. There's no doubt Houston would be highly motivated if he came to Baltimore. He left the Kansas City Chiefs after the 2018 season, a year before they won the Super Bowl. A Lombardi Trophy is really the only thing missing from Houston's career resume, and I think he'd fit nicely into Baltimore's culture. Not that Ingram wouldn't help – he's had a solid career, with juice left if he's healthy. But Houston would get my vote.

Downing: I expect Dobbins to have a big second season. He showed his ability as a rookie and his potential is off the charts. The more the Ravens integrated Dobbins into the offense over the second half of the year, the better the offense performed. He finished his rookie season with 134 carries for 805 yards and nine touchdowns. Those numbers should absolutely increase. Keep in mind that the Ravens ramped up Dobbins' involvement over the course of the year, and he had five games with five carries or less early in the season. He probably won't have any games with less than five carries in 2021.

But with all of that said, I would be surprised to see Dobbins top the sophomore seasons of Ray Rice or Jamal Lewis. He has the ability, no question, but the big difference is that the offense doesn't need to lean as heavily on Dobbins as it did on Rice and Lewis. The Ravens still have Gus Edwards, who has topped 700 rushing yards and five yards per carry in each of his three NFL seasons. Edwards has proven he still deserves a heavy workload. And let's not forget about quarterback Lamar Jackson's rushing ability. He became the first quarterback ever to top 1,000 rushing yards twice, and he'll continue to be a focal point of the ground game. The Ravens will use a mix of Dobbins, Edwards and Jackson on the ground, rather than the workhorse running back approach they had with Lewis and Rice.

Brown: Trading up for a receiver is not a move I would make this year. Not after signing Sammy Watkins, and not with so many talented receivers in this year's class. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper says wide receiver is the draft's deepest position. Even if the Ravens don't take a receiver Day 1, there will be plenty available Day 2 who have the potential to develop into starters. Unless you trade into the top 10, which would cost a ransom in return, you're not going to get DeVonta Smith, Ja'Marr Chase or Jaylen Waddle. In my opinion, it's not worth trading up for a receiver, when a talented wideout like Terrace Marshall Jr. of LSU may still be on the board at No. 27.

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