By Cody Strahm @CodyJStrahm on April 14, 2014
The Baltimore Ravens, looking to rebound from a disappointing .500 campaign, possess six picks within the draft's first four rounds to return to championship-caliber form. Here are five rumors surrounding the club as the draft approaches.
Ray Rice is coming off of his worst season as a pro and is currently facing battery charges. The Ravens might look to replace him in May's draft, and could do so with local product Terrance West. The FCS star didn't face the best competition in college, but he possesses an intriguing blend of power and speed that could entice Baltimore.
Despite retaining Dennis Pitta and signing Owen Daniels, the Ravens are rumored to still be interested in adding to their tight end group during the draft. Daniels is 31 and only under contract for one season. A prospect like Notre Dame's Troy Niklas could be a nice developmental piece in the third or fourth round.
Former starting right tackle Michael Oher is now a member of the Tennessee Titans. To replace him, the Ravens are expected to select a right tackle with one of their three picks on the draft's third day. In a deep draft at tackle, options like Nevada's Joel Bitonio and Tennessee's Ja'Wuan James headline the Ravens' potential day-two selections.
Feisty veteran receiver Steve Smith was signed this offseson to form a productive tandem with Torrey Smith, but the Ravens are still in need of a long-term complement for their No. 1 wideout. This draft class is rich in talent at the receiver position, and Baltimore could nab a future star as late as round three.
Free safety is arguably the Ravens' most pressing need as the draft approaches. As it stands today, either Darian Stewart or Matt Elam would man the position. Neither appears equipped to do so effectively. That means Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is likely high on the Ravens' draft board as a potential first-round pick. Clinton-Dix has the range and playmaking ability to be the ball-hawk in center field Baltimore was missing in 2013.
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