The Baltimore Ravens come into the season needing to reload, like a stash on Marlo's corner in the famed series The Wire. The question is – what are the needs that can be reloaded in a draft with 6 picks.
Despite losing some key components to free agency, GM Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore Ravens have been able to reload quickly (i.e., C Matt Birk replacing Jason Brown). The Ravens come into the 2009 NFL Draft with 6 picks and some positions that are getting old in age or Long in the Tooth (LITT). One of the positions experiencing a LITT is the wide receivers corps or corpse because of their 28th rank in passing. Breaking in rookie quarterback Joe Flacco could have been the reason, but we saw the strength of his arm on many occasions through out the season. Derrick Mason, the leading wide receiver for the Ravens, with 1037 yds and 80 receptions is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2010 and is rumored to be unhappy about not receiving a contract extension. Mark Clayton as the Ravens #2 does not have the speed but does give the Ravens a vertical threat, although only 5’10.” What the Ravens are lacking is the separation speed needed to match Flacco’s arm. Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin will be long gone by the time the Ravens get on the clock with the 26th pick. The Ravens have worked out the following 3 receivers:
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
A home-state favorite, Heyward-Bey (“Hey-Bey,” not quite Wee-Bey, but oh so close) brings the speed with a 4.27 in the 40. His speed could give the Ravens a viable deep threat to break for a touchdown with every catch.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina
Not as lightening quick or explosive as Hey-Bey, but his hands and big body could be a good fit for the Ravens.
Kenny Britt, WR, Rutgers
Britt has the combination of hands and speed, snatching/catching while breaking away from defenders. At 6’2” he can give the Ravens another vertical threat.
The stash is getting low and we know how Ozzie (Marlo) wants his wins (money)…Will speed or hands win out for the Ravens?
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Written by Lea Anderson