NEEDS RATING KEY
5.0 - High priority. This is a position that is a glaring weakness and there is the likelihood that this team cannot compete next year without making a major addition here.
4.0 - Medium Priority. This is an area that is an obvious weakness, but the team isn't quite desperate to make a major move here possibly because they have some young potential. But this is an area that if the team cannot fix via free agency, will definitely use one of their picks in the first three or four rounds to supplement.
3.0 - Upgrade Potential. This is a position that isn't a weakness per se, but there is significant room for an upgrade. If the right player comes along they will certainly snag him, but if they don't fix this position with a major free agent addition or early round pick, then it's not the end of the world.
2.0 - Depth Need. An area where there is a need to add depth. Perhaps there is an aging veteran and they might want to start to look at grooming his heir apparent or replacement. Not likely to be a high priority and a position that more than likely will be address in the middle and late rounds rather than with a top pick.
1.0 - Future Need. This is an area that is not a priority, and doesn't initially appear as a need. But there is some room to develop some depth for perhaps two or more years down the line. This is usually an area that a team will look at in the late rounds if at all.
0.0 - Non-need. This is a position that is a strength of their team, they have a solid starter, capable depth, and/or a young player at the position that they like and want to develop. Very little possibility this area is addressed and would be the equivalent of a wasted draft pick.
Top 7 Needs
1. CB - 4.0
2. WR - 4.0
3. DE - 3.0
4. OT - 3.0
5. S - 2.5
6. FB - 2.5
7. RB - 2.0
Position by Position Breakdown
Quarterback - Flacco had a strong season, but the Ravens are going to have to look for ways to make him better. But their major issue here is depth, as Bulger is their lone backup and likely to seek out a starting job elsewhere this off-season. They'll likely turn to a veteran, but might add a late round pick in the draft. NEED: 2.0
Running Back - Rice's production took a dip, but there aren't any concerns that he's still their top back. McGahee is a solid reserve, but they probably won't pay him and he'll likely be cut. That would leave a void here as far as depth goes with them looking for a powerful complementary back behind Rice. NEED: 2.0
Fullback - McClain is one of the best in the league, but they are worried he could seek a big contract elsewhere, one they are unwilling to match. Which would mean they will have a signfiicant void to fill here as well. NEED: 2.5
Wide Receiver - Boldin and Mason are a nice pair, but neither are spring chickens. They will look at adding more speed and getting an explosive playmaker here to bolster this unit. It remains to be seen if either Houshmandzadeh or Stallworth will return next year. Neither player contributed as much as hoped this past year. NEED: 4.0
Tight End - Heap had a strong year, but he's not getting any younger. Dickson and PItta are nice pieces worth developing on the bench, so there shouldn't be any major moves here. NEED: 0.5
Offensive Tackle - The team is expected to move Gaither whenever they can. His injuries have caused them to give up on him. Oher struggled in his first full season at left tackle, but they are still confident that he can only grow from here. Yanda is the incumbent at right tackle and coming off a solid year, but he's a free agent and they view him more as a long-term option at guard rather than tackle. They will try to upgrade this spot. NEED: 3.0
Offensive Guard - Chester is a free agent, and a solid depth piece. Yanda is considered the true starter here and he'll be the priority re-signing. If they lose both, they'll need to address this spot. NEED: 1.0
Center - Birk is expected back this year, the final year of his contract. But they need to decide whether Chester is the future option here or to bring in someone new to develop for at least a year. NEED: 1.5
Defensive Tackle - Gregg is still a capable guy, but is starting to slow down. But having Ngata and Cody for depth means that they aren't too worried. NEED: 1.0
Defensive End - Re-signing Ngata will be a high priority this off-season. BUt they need to upgrade the other spot. Kruger did not fit as well as hoped, and Redding is just a stopgap. They need to find a solid piece for the future. NEED: 3.0
Linebacker - Johnson and Lewis are solid, but they can't be sure how much longer either will be playing for them. Johnson is entering his contract year, and while Lewis has several years left on his deal, he'll be 36 this year. McClain, Ellerbe, and Gooden have proven to be solid in spots, but are unproven as far as being long-term fill ins. So they'll be on the lookout for additional talent here. NEED: 2.0
Cornerback - Wilson was a pleasant addition, and getting Foxworth back next year will be a nice pickup. But their two best corners are Wilson and Carr, both free agents, and both players that are ideally nickel guys rather than starters. Upgrading this spot will be a big key this off-season trying to find someone that has the potential to be a No. 1 corner. NEED: 4.0
Safety - Reed has two more years left on his contract, and hasn't made it through the past two seasons healthy. Nakamura looked promising a year ago, but not so much this past year. The same goes for Zbikowski. Landry is a free agent, and they'd like to bring him back but aren't going to spend a ton to do so. If they can find a good long-term option to replace REed and/or upgrade over Landry, they will go for it. NEED: 2.5
Kicker - Cundiff got an extension and they should be solid here for a couple more years. NEED: 0.0
Punter - Koch is one of the league's top young punters. NEED: 0.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.