With Remaining Free-Agent Market Thin, Ravens Need to Focus on NFL Draft
The Ravens have already had an active offseason, especially with boosting their defense.
The team improved the defensive line by acquiring Calais Campbell from the Jacksonville Jaguars and signing free agents Derek Wolfe, Jihad Ward and Justine Ellis.
Baltimore also placed the franchise tag on linebacker Matthew Judon, who led the team with 9.5 sacks last season. The Ravens brought back a couple of key playmakers in the secondary by re-signing cornerback Jimmy Smith and safety Anthony Levine.
General manager Eric DeCosta still needs to add an inside linebacker, depth for the offensive line and a wide receiver. The team could also look to add an edge rusher.
However, the free-agent market has gown thin for adding playmakers and DeCosta will likely have to fill the void in the NFL Draft. The impact of COVID-19 has restricted teams from hosting players.
The Ravens have just over $10 million in remaining salary-cap space, according to overthecap.com.
Jadeveon Clowney is the top edge rusher in the free-agent market and he's looking for a contract value at $20 million or more per season. Clowney might be willing to settle for a one-year "show-me deal," but he'd still be out of the Ravens price range.
The best available linebackers are Nigel Bradham, Darron Lee and Mychal Kendricks, but the Ravens will likely solidify that position in the draft by adding Oklahoma's Kenneth Murray or LSU's Patrick Queen. Baltimore would have to use the 28th overall pick or possibly have to trade up to grab one of those players.
The wide receiver market is even thinner with Taylor Gabriel, Chris Hogan and David Moore as the best possible options. The 2020 NFL Draft is deep with these type of players and the Ravens can find value in the later rounds.
DeCosta will also focus on adding depth to the offensive line in this year's draft.