Ravens

Ravens

The Ravens season did not finish in the manner they were hoping, so it's time to look to the offseason to make the neccessary improvements.

With Steve Smith Sr. and Zach Orr retiring, the team has some major areas of need.

Here are five offseason predictions for the Ravens, as they try to build a playoff team for 2017:

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1. The Ravens will add a veteran wide receiver.

Whether it’s a free agent like Pierre Garcon of the Redskins, or a cap casualty from another team, look for the Ravens to add a veteran presence at wide receiver. They only have four wide receivers under contract, and the retirement of Steve Smith Sr. leaves a void that needs to be addressed.

2. Joe Flacco will get together with some wide receivers for private throwing sessions.

Flacco needs to build chemistry with Breshad Perriman in particular, and the Ravens need a better Flacco in 2017 for the offense to reach its full potential. A year removed from knee surgery, Flacco can concentrate less on rehab, and more on getting quality offseason reps.

3. On either Day 1 or Day 2 of the draft, the Ravens will take a cornerback.

Drafting a top cornerback is overdue for the Ravens, who haven’t taken a corner in the first three rounds since Jimmy Smith in 2011. Lack of depth at cornerback has been a major issue for years. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Ravens take two corners in this year’s draft.

 

4. The Ravens will re-sign free agent defensive tackle Brandon Williams.

It will take deep pockets to re-sign Williams, who turns 28 years old February 21, and whose career arc is ascending.

But losing Williams in his prime would be a major blow to a defense that can’t afford to be vulnerable against the run.

5. The Ravens will explore adding a veteran offensive lineman, via free agency or trade.

Right tackle Rick Wagner is a free agent, and starting center Jeremy Zuttah could be replaced.

The Ravens are serious about becoming a team that runs the football more effectively. They need a more physical offensive line to accomplish that goal.

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