2015 NFL Draft: AFC North Preview, Baltimore Ravens

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The 2015 AFC North draft preview continues with one of the more storied franchises in the NFL in a short period of time.  The days of Art Modell moving his team in the middle of the night to the shores of the Chesapeake are behind us, and what is left is a perennial power in the AFC.  The Ravens need to draft well though, and with Ozzie Newsome calling the shots, this shouldn’t be a problem.

2014 Record

10-6, Third in the AFC North, Playoffs: Lost in Divisional Round at New England (35-31)

Key Losses

DT Haloti Ngata, QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Jacoby Jones, WR Torrey Smith, TE Owen Daniels, LB Pernell McPhee

Key Gains

QB Matt Schaub, RB Justin Forsett (re-signed), DE Christo Bilukidi (re-signed), DT Chris Canty (re-signed), S Anthony Levine (re-signed), and K Justin Tucker (re-signed).

Selections

26, 58, 90, 122, 125,136, 158, 171, 176, and 204

Needs

Defensive Line, Wide Receiver, Linebacker, Safety, and Running Back

Analysis

The Ravens are sort of this enigma of a team that struggles throughout the season, makes a big push towards the playoffs, and then ends up making a deep run. No one can really decide what Joe Flacco is; is he elite or does he need dynamic talent around him to elevate his game? The Ravens put together a remarkable run late in 2014 and look to repeat the same success in 2015. This all starts with the draft.

Baltimore will be looking to fill immediate needs at wide receiver and along the defensive line. They need to draft these positions early and often in hopes of landing replacements for Torrey Smith and Haloti Ngata.

Ozzie Newsome and company have done an excellent job in years past drafting replacement parts that fit in seamlessly. With Joe Flacco’s monster contract limiting what the Ravens can do in free agency, it is all about the draft in 2015. If the Ravens want to continue their perennial success in the AFC North, they’ll need to continue their string of draft success this year.

Next: Could Shane Ray Drop to the Bengals?

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