For a team that insists that they draft based on best player available, the Ravens sure are filling a lot of needs in the 2011 Draft.
Big, physical cornerback - check.
Speedy wide receiver who can stretch the field - check.
Burly offensive tackle - check.
It might very well be a coincidence that all three players selected by general manager Ozzie Newsome thus far play positions where the Ravens had a void entering the draft. It’s possible that Jimmy Smith, Torrey Smith and Jah Reid all were the highest-rated player left on the Ravens’ draft board when it came time for them to make their picks.
Or, the Ravens might have realized that with free agency coming after the draft this year, and the uncertainty surrounding this offseason, they should look to bolster areas that were lacking in young talent.
Regardless, the Ravens have put themselves in a good spot. Teams who don’t address major need areas could be left scrambling when free agency does eventually begin (whenever that is).
You can argue with the selection of Jimmy Smith because of his character concerns. You can say that Torrey Smith’s sometimes-shaky hands are a bit of an issue. You can question the decision to trade up and select Reid, who was not considered a truly solid prospect until a few months before the draft.
All that is well and good.
But strictly based off talent and the possible makeup of the roster, are the Ravens more prepared to go win a football game today than they were on Wednesday?
Yeah, they probably are, and that’s because a few key holes have been filled.
Newsome still has five picks remaining today (one fourth-rounder, two fifths, a sixth and a seventh), and said yesterday that the Ravens might be looking to trade down and accumulate even more picks, to make up for the sixth-round selection they gave up in the trade to get Reid.
If you’re looking at remaining needs, the Ravens still will look for a pass rusher (that’s priority No. 1 at this point), and will want to improve their depth at running back, quarterback, center/guard, inside linebacker and safety.
Buckle up for a long Day Three.