22. BALTIMORE (10-7)
LAST SEASON: Ravens captured AFC North by winning six of last seven games under direction of rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, who took over for 11-year veteran Joe Flacco and deftly directed run-oriented attack. Offense received more than ample support from league’s top-ranked defense, which allowed only 292.2 yards and 17.9 points per game. In playoffs, however, Baltimore was no match for visiting Los Angeles Chargers, who built 23-3 lead in 23-17 victory.
FREE AGENCY: Ravens lost free agent linebackers C.J. Mosley, Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs, along with receiver John Brown. But first-year general manager Eric DeCosta addressed three significant needs by signing running back Mark Ingram, safety Earl Thomas, and former Raiders WR Seth Roberts. DeCosta also retained free agent QB Robert Griffin III, an ample backup to Jackson.
THEY NEED: LB, OL, WR, DE.
THEY DON’T NEED: QB, CB, DL, RB.
POSSIBLE FIRST PICK: Mississippi WR D.K. Metcalf; Florida DE Jachai Polite; Oklahoma OL Cody Ford.
OUTLOOK: For first time in team history, Ozzie Newsome won’t have final say in Ravens’ draft room. That responsibility now belongs to DeCosta, who learned much over past two decades under Newsome, now adviser to his former assistant. Like Newsome, DeCosta won’t hesitate to trade down to secure more picks, which would serve Baltimore well because there are plenty of holes to fill. Team usually finds gem or two in late rounds.
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