Feeling Drafty #26: Baltimore Ravens

April 22, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Sports) (, , , , , , , , )

Ray Lewis went to his 12th Pro Bowl, his 10th All-Pro team, and he won Baltimore Team MVP this season, and I'm pretty sure the guy can breathe fire, too.

How does a team this good stay this quiet?

My writing team and I (my dad, me, and his 5 year old weiner dog, Oscar) have been brainstorming ideas about the Ravens, and we haven’t gotten very far.  (Oscar’s just been napping and hogging all of the doughnuts.)

Maybe their aging wide receiver corps would be a good place to start.  Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Donte Stallworth, and Todd Heap are all in their 30’s.  Boldin was his second-worst season, but that’s still not too bad:  64 reception, 837 yards, and seven touchdowns.  Mason (who’s becoming more popular for bashing the Commish) had an almost identical season to Boldin going for 61-802-7.  Heap had one of his better seasons in recent years: 40-599-5.  Houshmandzadeh had a few big moments, and Stallworth was utterly useless.

There was also Ray Rice, who dropped off a little bit, but still had a great season.  1,776 total yards with 6 total touchdowns, and a nice, fat paycheck from Gillette.  When that kind of season is a dropoff, you have made it in the NFL.

And you can’t talk about the Ravens without mentioning that awesome defense.  Ray Lewis is as ageless as ever with 139 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions, but his leadership is still the most important part of his arsenal.  His partner in crime, Terrell Suggs, led the team in sacks with 11.  Ed Reed led the league with eight interceptions.  Haloti Ngata is still one scary son-of -a-gun.  And Dawan Landry quietly had 111 tackles.  But then again, when you’re on the same team as Lewis, Suggs, Reed, and Ngata, you have to be a big deal to get recognized.

If the Ravens draft Aaron Williams, the Ravens' defense will be even more fearsome. That's a scary thought.

But, there is a problem with their defense.  Their secondary was off this season, ranking 21th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game.  Not the worst in this league, but when compared to the rest of their defense, it’s terrible.  People keep telling me that the Ravens will pick up free agent CB Nnamdi Asomugha, but that’s no sure thing.  So, the Ravens should draft Texas CB Aaron Williams.  Williams is simply a big play maker.  He forces fumbles, he smothers receivers, he’s the man that the Longhorns called upon to cause a spark.

Imagine if the Ravens draft Williams, and still pick up Asomugha.  That problem just got fixed pretty thoroughly.


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