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Ravens' Take On 5 Positions Of Need


There won't be any major shake-up on the Ravens' roster, but that doesn't mean General Manager Ozzie Newsome will be sitting on his hands this offseason.

"I don't think we'll be as busy as some teams are in March. We never have," Newsome said at Thursday's season-ending press conference.

"But if there's a player that we think can come in and improve our football team and help us, we'll have the cap room capable of being able to get that player signed."

The Ravens will also look to the draft to fill some of their needs, and they'll have a unique chance to do so considering they'll be picking at No. 6 overall and near the top of every other round.

When Newsome was asked to project what position he'll take with his first-round pick, Owner Steve Bisciotti stepped in, pointing to pass rusher, safety, left tackle or cornerback.

"Thanks, Steve," Newsome said with a laugh.

Based off comments Newsome made later in the press conference, wide receiver can also be added to that list.

With that in mind, here's what the Ravens had to say about five positions of need:

Wide Receiver

The Ravens were led by Kamar Aiken's 75 catches for 944 yards and five touchdowns. The pending restricted free agent is expected to be retained. Steve Smith Sr. is returning for another season and 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman is expected to be back and healthy. The Ravens got a good look at their depth as different players – Michael Campanaro, Jeremy Butler, Marlon Brown. Chris Matthews, rookie sixth-round pick Darren Waller – stepped up at different times.

Newsome: "Yes, I think we do [need more receivers]. And if possible, two, whether it's by the draft and/or free agency. I think we need to continue to improve the depth of our receivers on this roster."


Baltimore's secondary gave up too many big plays in the first half of the season, which is what got them in an early hole in the standings. The Ravens righted the ship in the second half of the year, however, finishing as the league's best pass defense over the final eight games and eight in total defense for the season.

Newsome: "I think the biggest move is 'Webby' [Lardarius Webb] to safety. The way the game is going, to have someone that has some range – has some really good ball skills – back in the back end is very [much] needed. We have [cornerback] Shareece [Wright] that's up for contract. That's something that we'll look at going forward. … It's trending up. Would we like to add some more pieces if they're available to us? We will definitely add them to it as we move forward."

Left Tackle

Eugene Monroe missed 10 games, mostly because of a shoulder injury that landed him on injured reserve. The Ravens turned to second-year tackle James Hurst, then opted to move left guard Kelechi Osemele to left tackle. Osemele is an unrestricted free agent who is likely heading to a big payday, whether in Baltimore or elsewhere.

Newsome: "Left tackle is important to protect the blindside of the quarterback. When [K.O.] agreed to move to left tackle, we thought it was a good thing for us to get a chance to watch him over the course of four games, and then also improve his value to the National Football League. We still have Eugene Monroe. When he was healthy, he played really well for us. We have some options."

Pass Rusher

The Ravens went from a tie for second place in the NFL in sacks (49) in 2014 to a tie for 17th place in 2015 (37). Baltimore felt the sting of losing outside linebacker Terrell Suggs in Week 1. Not only did that remove Suggs' sack production, but it made life harder on Elvis Dumervil, who posted just six sacks this season after having 17 the year before. Za'Darius Smith recorded 5.5 sacks in his rookie year.

Harbaugh:"We're definitely looking to add somebody – not just there, but in a lot of other areas, too. I don't want to pick it out and say that's just the one spot, but pass rush is really important. You lose Terrell Suggs, you lose Pernell McPhee, you try to replace them, move guys into those spots and you work with them. Elvis Dumervil, I'll tell you what, he was bringing it, week-in and week-out. But he was getting a lot of attention, too. … We want to add good players at every spot. And pass rushers, I would say, would really help us. We're all determined to get that done."

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