The Baltimore Ravens have now missed the postseason three years in a row. What are their biggest offseason needs in 2018?
After a successful beginning for head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco that resulted in a multitude of playoff success and a Super Bowl title, reality has begun to sink in. The seat is getting warm in Baltimore and the pressure is at an all-time high. The 2017 season marked the third straight year of missing out on the postseason. It’s been two consecutive years that the Ravens have lost out on a playoff spot because of heartbreak and the fanbase has become numb to the pain at this point.
This year could be one of the last chances for Harbaugh and his coaching staff to keep things afloat. One mediocre season could very well result in cleaning house. The pieces are there to end the playoff drought but the Ravens have to show significant improvements on both sides of the ball. Here are the five biggest needs for general manager Ozzie Newsome and the front office this offseason.
5. Draft Joe Flacco’s successor
Sooner or later, Joe Flacco won’t be under center for the Ravens anymore. For the sake of the fanbase, many are hoping sooner. Either way, Flacco is getting older and frankly not playing any better. His contract realistically keeps him around until the end of the 2019 season before it makes sense for the Ravens to move on financially. That’s the downside of signing Flacco to be a major deal but that doesn’t mean the Ravens can’t be actively looking for his replacement.
Since selecting Flacco in 2008 draft, the Ravens have taken just two quarterbacks. Tyrod Taylor and Keith Wenning were both selected in the sixth round respectively. The truth is, the Ravens have grown comfortable with having a franchise quarterback under center. It’s a luxury not many teams get to have. The front office hasn’t taken a serious look at finding Flacco’s eventual replacement but this is the year to do it.
One of the first round prospects still feels like a reach with pressing needs at other offensive positions but the Ravens could find a legitimate option in the mid-rounds. A quarterback like Mason Rudolph, Kyle Lauletta, Riley Ferguson or even Lamar Jackson provides depth in the class behind the top four. They can come in and sit for a year or two and learn the offensive system. So when Flacco’s time is up, the Ravens aren’t frantically searching for a replacement.