Dawan Landry closing in on deal with Jaguars (Jimmy Smith signs)

The Ravens will need to find a new strong safety.

Dawan Landry, who has started 64 games at the strong safety spot since being drafted by the Ravens in the third round in 2006, is poised to sign a five-year deal with the Jaguars, according to reports.

Landry’s departure is not unexpected, but it will leave the Ravens with a decision to make regarding who lines up next to free safety Ed Reed. Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura are the two in-house candidates, and while Zbikowski appears to have the edge because of his experience, his 10 games as a starter all came at free safety.

The Ravens are unlikely to search for a starting replacement for Landry through the free agent market because of their salary cap situation (they are currently somewhere around $4 million under the cap) and more pressing needs at cornerback and defensive end/outside linebacker.

Landry has quietly been a solid presence in the Ravens’ defensive backfield the last five seasons, although his tackling ability has sometimes come into question. He posted a career high 111 tackles last season, also recording one sack, a forced fumble and a touchdown.

The Georgia Tech product has played in all 16 games every year as a pro except in 2008, when he suffered a spinal cord concussion in Week 2.

UPDATE: It’s official: the Ravens have signed first-round pick Jimmy Smith. The Colorado cornerback has inked a five-year deal, and will be on the field today for his first practice as a Raven.

The Ravens have now signed all eight of their draft picks. Reporters will get to talk to Smith today following the afternoon practice, and I’ll pass along his comments.

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