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What Do The Ravens Need Now?


The Ravens have followed through on Head Coach John Harbaugh's statement that re-signing their own players would be top priority.

They've brought back five of their own free agents: tight end Dennis Pitta, left tackle Eugene Monroe, wide receiver/returner Jacoby Jones, safety Jeromy Miles and linebacker Daryl Smith.

They inked their first deal with a player from outside the organization in five-time Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith on Friday.

And now it seems like the first flurry of free agency has passed.

But are the Ravens finished? Baltimore still has some positions to bolster, and General Manager Ozzie Newsome doesn't like to have any holes heading into the draft. That enables him to stick to his patented "best player available" strategy.

Here are some areas the Ravens could still address in free agency:

Free Safety

Why: Newsome said the Ravens want a more athletic, playmaking safety. They want to move last year's first-round pick, Matt Elam, to his more natural position of strong safety.
Market status: Free safeties went fast at the start of free agency. Jarius Byrd, one of the shiniest jewels out there, went to New Orleans. Louis Delmas (Miami), Malcolm Jenkins (Philadelphia) and Mike Mitchell (Pittsburgh), all got snatched up in the first couple days.
Who remains: Thomas DeCoud was released by the Falcons and may be the best option remaining. He was a Pro Bowler in 2012 when he made 76 tackles and six interceptions, but didn't have a single pick last year. Miami's Chris Clemons is classified as a strong safety, but has good coverage skills. There are also a few aging veterans with Champ Bailey, Charles Woodson and Ed Reed.


Why: Newsome said he wants to get bigger on the interior of the offensive line. Gino Gradkowski had some growing pains in his first year as a starter.
Market status: It was slow to begin with, but could be picking up. Five unrestricted free agents have signed, including highly-regarded Evan Dietrich-Smith (Buccaneers) on Friday.
Who remains: The biggest name, two-time Pro Bowler Alex Mack, remains out there. The Browns placed the transition tag on him, but he says he will be visiting teams. The Ravens are rumored to be interested. The Giants are reportedly looking at Brian De La Puente.

Right Tackle

Why: The Ravens have a hole there as Michael Oher signed with the Tennessee Titans. Rick Wagner could step in or Kelechi Osemele could slide there, but the Ravens likely want more help. If Osemele moves to tackle, the Ravens would likely look at guards.
Market status: Left tackles flew off the free agent streets but the market for right tackles is a bit slower and they won't get nearly as much money. The Ravens may be able to be more patient here.
Who remains: Oher is reportedly visiting the Titans and Raiders. Zach Strief is one of the best possibilities, but getting some interest. Another option is 10-year veteran David Stewart, who is known for his tenacity and toughness, but was cut because he was due $6.5 million and has been hampered by injuries.


Why: Corey Graham left to sign with the Buffalo Bills. The Ravens have some young talent behind him in Chykie Brown and Asa Jackson, but neither has a lot of defensive experience.
Market status: The top names are gone, but the Ravens probably wouldn't be looking at them anyway. If they look to free agency, they'll be bargain hunting. They could wait to get a better look at Brown and Jackson.
Who remains: There are many still out there, from former Raven Chris Carr, to veteran Drayton Florence. Miami's Dimitri Patterson is another solid option who played well last year.

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