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The Pipeline

Baltimore Ravens

Dennis Nazarov, Assistant Sports Editor

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After a mediocre 8-8 record during the 2016 NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens are looking to get back to winning ways and into the playoffs, where they have been very successful in the past decade. The inability to pull away in close games and the lack of depth in the secondary were two of the biggest issues the Ravens faced during the 2016 season. They know that these issues must be addressed for them to return to being one of the elite teams in the NFL.

The start of free agency was a warning call for Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens General Manager. He knew he was on the “hot seat” after missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons, and that he must be more aggressive in free agency, something he did not usually do. There were many premier players on the free agency market. Newsome’s main goal during the 2017 offseason was to upgrade the secondary and wide receiver positions. He went out and signed one of the best safeties in the league, Tony Jefferson. He also signed one of the most durable cornerbacks in the league, Brandon Carr. Newsome’s aggressive start to free agency helped turn the Ravens secondary into one of the best in the NFL as it paired Tony Jefferson with one of the best and respected safeties in the NFL, Eric Weddle. The signing of Brandon Carr also helped provide stability to a very injury-prone Ravens’ secondary. The Ravens were also able to bring back Brandon Williams, a very crucial part to the team as he has been their best defensive tackle over the past couple of years. After addressing their secondary and defensive line, the Ravens decided to add a reliable playmaker on offensive in Danny Woodhead. Newsome hopes to sign a veteran wide receiver before or after the draft.

After a fast start in free agency, the Ravens have the draft coming up in less than a month. The 2017 draft class is one of the deepest draft classes in history. The Ravens have the 16th overall pick where they can pick an impactful and potential All-Pro player on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. The Ravens also have a second round pick and two third round picks where they can pick up solid players in the deep draft class.

With an aggressive start in free agency, a loaded upcoming draft class, and the return of an elite quarterback in Joe Flacco, the Baltimore Ravens have a lot to be excited about for the 2017-2018 NFL season.

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