Two weeks from today in New York City, the highlight of the off-season for NFL fans will be underway. The NFL Draft is looming, and the Ravens have put themselves in position to give Joe Flacco a WR that he will be able to grow with as the offense continues to evolve.
Coming into the off-season, it appeared likely that the Ravens would look at either CB or WR in the first and second rounds, but the need for a CB is not as apparent with the signings of Dominique Foxworth, Chris Carr, and the re-signing of Samari Rolle. The Ravens now have a top 3 of Foxworth, Washington, and Rolle, with Frank Walker and Chris Carr serving as very capable 4th and 5th cornerbacks.
Looking at the rest of the team, there is not an area that is weak, or lacking in depth. Even at WR, the Ravens made it to the AFC Championship game with the current group, and that was without WR Demetrius Williams, who will make yet another bid to remain healthy for the 2009 season.
However, there is no doubt that the Ravens need another explosive WR to take the next step in their offense. Unless they make a trade for an available WR such as Chad Ocho Cinco or Anquan Boldin, or pursue free agent Torry Holt, and there have been no indications that the Ravens are attempting to do either, it is extremely likely that they will take a receiver sometime before the top 2 rounds are complete in this years draft.
WR candidates that have been linked to the Ravens at pick 26 include Darius Heyward-Bay of Maryland, Hakeem Nicks of North Carolina, Kenny Britt of Rutgers, and Percy Harvin of Florida. It is predicted that top receivers Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin will be off the board by the time the Ravens will be on the clock.
The Ravens conducted a private workout with Darius Heyward-Bay, during which Joe Flacco participated in throwing the former Maryland WR numerous passes. Rumor has it that Flacco was very impressed with the speed and ability demonstrated by Heyward-Bay. The Ravens have also held private visits with the other 3 candidates mentioned, covering all of their bases as draft day nears.
Of course, draft day can be a very unpredictable time, and the Ravens have been known to hold their cards close to the vest.
However, with the Ravens apparent lack of interest in available WR’s, whether by trade or free agency, as well as their inability to stretch the field at times last year, most notably in the final game against the Steelers, it seems probable that come late evening on Saturday, April 25th, Joe Flacco and Cam Cameron will add a new, freshly drafted weapon to their arsenal.