To Draft or Not To Draft
As draft day approaches I have begun to think in greater depth about what the Ravens should do with their first pick. The Ravens have traditionally been one of the best teams in the NFL when it comes to drafting and evaluating talent. The great Ozzie Newsome always puts this team in the best possible position to draft value with a pick and never based on need. He has done it again this year.
After the season was over the Ravens had a lot of decisions to make. They had to decide who to re-sign, who to let go, and for those who left, how would they be replaced? We saw the likes of Bart Scott, Chris McAlister, Jason Brown, and Jim Leonhard all leave via free agency. But after that we saw Ozzie reload as only Ozzie can. He brought in Matt Birk at center, Foxworth at corner, and L.J Smith at tight end to sure up potential weaknesses or thin areas for the Ravens. He also resigned Samari Rolle and signed Chris Carr to the team to make sure there was great depth in the secondary and coverage on the special teams unit. Heading into the draft this team is complete and does not have any glaring need that must be addressed early in this draft. Furthermore this team has a wealth of young talent that they did not have room for last year with the likes of Prescott Burgess and Tavares Gooden. This team is in as comfortable of a position as any team heading into the draft. This is why they must consider adding Boldin to the team. He may very well be the one missing piece.
While the Ravens do not typically like to trade their top pick or a bulk of their picks in a draft, this year might be the year to do so. I know the Ravens have only six picks this year but if you give up your first and your third round picks you will be gaining more value in Boldin than you would be giving away with what could come in with those two picks. Wide receiver is the hardest position to fill in the draft and more times then not the pick results in a bust. The game is so much more physical at the NFL level it is just impossible to project how well receivers will do and which ones will be a bust. Boldin is a perfect example. He was a second round draft pick because teams could not project how well he would do. This year looks to be a crap shoot again as teams try to guess which wide-out is worth taking. The Ravens are one of those teams and by trading for Boldin it would eliminate all of the guesswork.
Look at this way: Who might the Ravens draft with the 26th overall pick? Most projections I have seen have the Ravens looking at a corner or, you guessed it, a wide receiver. Thanks to Ozzie’s great offseason the Ravens have added depth and talent to their secondary. A corner pick here is no longer a must but rather more like a luxury. A wide receiver for this team makes the most sense, so why not get the best? This years best available is not Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks(I think is the best in the draft), Kenny Britt, or even Darrius Heyward-Bey. That is right, the best wide-out available this year is Boldin. The Ravens fans want him. The Ravens need him.
Boldin is young, only 28, and can help this team for another 5 years. He will come in and have an immediate impact on this offense, especially on Joe Flacco. The other benefit of getting Boldin is that you would not have to wait for him to develop. He is ready to go on day one. Let’s face it the Ravens are not getting any younger on defense and guys like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed do not have the years left to wait for a rookie to develop. Flacco is also emerging into a star and we do not need to hold him back while waiting for the rookie WR to develop.
Traditionally the Ravens have not been afraid to pull the trigger to trade up in the draft to get guys they felt were important to this team and may not be available when it is their turn to draft, ala Joe Flacco. So why not pull the trigger this year. Just because Boldin is not in the draft does not mean we should write off the idea of dealing our picks.
Give up the picks and bring Baltimore a star thus narrowing the gap between the Super Bowl champions and the Baltimore Ravens!!!