Once upon a time, the Baltimore Ravens defense was tops in the National Football League. Father time and injuries slowly chipped it away, but the organization did something about it this off season.
Despite their injuries last season, the banged up defense won Super Bowl XLVII, after the win Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis retired and the Ravens lost a total of seven defensive players during free agency.
General manager Ozzie Newsome went into the NFL Draft with the goal of replenishing the depleted defense; he accomplished his goal with the first four picks. The young players are faster and stronger than their predecessors (well at least during the latter part of their careers, not in their prime time).
The Ravens top picks in the 2013 draft class include safety Matt Elam, linebacker Arthur Brown, defensive tackle Brandon Williams and linebacker John Simon.
Newsome said he liked Elam’s speed; he is likely to start next to newly signed veteran safety Michael Huff:
“One of the positions we really needed was safety,” Newsome told Elam over the phone just after making the pick. “We got Michael Huff, and we’ll probably have two of the most athletic safeties in the game by putting you back there with him.”
CSN Baltimore’s Jeff Seidel said the big question is how much the Ravens will expect the younger guys to step in now or if they will sign veteran free agents to play and let the rookies learn from them.
Only time will tell what the Ravens will do, I am looking forward to seeing how the rookies impact the defense. It will be nice to have some young, fresh blood and I’m excited to see what the new look Ravens defense can do.