2014 NFL Draft: Baltimore Ravens Desperately Need TE Eric Ebron
When the Ravens made their Super Bowl run in the 2012 season, most people think of Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin and Ray Rice as the main offensive playmakers. Although he isn’t the flashiest player, Pitta was an instrumental factor to the team’s success. In the season that the Ravens were crowned champions, Pitta was tied for the second-most receptions, had the second most receiving touchdowns, was third in targets and had the third most receiving yards behind Boldin and Smith.
There were several reasons that the Ravens finished this past year with only eight wins, but Pitta missing most of the season was devastating to Joe Flacco. Flacco’s interceptions total more than doubled this year from his previous season, and a big reason for that is he tried to force plays to happen and squeeze the ball into tight spots. You could tell that the quarterback was used to relying on the 6-foot-4 Pitta in years past, but Flacco was unsuccessful at finding a replacement for one of his go-to guys this past season.
Now that Pitta is locked up and Daniels can bring his experience to a one-year deal with Baltimore, Ozzie Newsome has the opportunity to help build the Ravens into an offensive powerhouse for years to come by drafting Ebron.
At 6-foot-4, 250-pounds, Ebron quite literally has the same exact build as Pitta. The fact that he finished as the second-fastest tight end in the combine is an added bonus that new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak will find quick use for in his playbook. The knock on Ebron is his blocking ability, but his pure athleticism has drawn comparisons to Jimmy Graham. There are other areas that need addressing for Baltimore, but the fact that Ebron could be the next Graham means the Ravens need to pull the trigger if the tight end falls that far in the draft.
Even though still talented, Pitta and Daniels are closer to the end of their careers than the start, and Flacco obviously needs a big target to convert difficult downs. Hopefully Ebron will have a full NFL career ahead of him, and Kubiak knows how to create plays for his tight ends. Flacco wouldn’t turn down such a huge weapon either, and drafting the tight end gives the Ravens a clear advantage in battles with defenses in the AFC North for years to come. His value may not be immediately shown, but Ebron could help lead Baltimore to future Super Bowls down the road.
If Newsome is lucky enough to land one of the biggest offensive playmakers in the draft, the future will look very bright in Baltimore.