Now that the hoopla surrounding the Ravens second NFL title has died down the focus of fans has turned toward two topics. First, what players will the Ravens be able to retain for next season and Second what new players will be added to the roster through the draft.
Over the next few weeks I’ll try to give you a peek at some of the possible prospects that might be available in the First Round for the Ravens.
First up is a possible position of need; Inside Linebacker. Ray Lewis has retired. (It feels strange typing it no matter how many times I prepared for it over the past month.) Dannell Ellerbee is an unrestricted free agent and while the Ravens may want him back he’ll certainly cost more than it took to lock up Jameel McClain (three-year, $10.5 million contract last March). For a team that is desperate for some cap relief that isn’t encouraging. Let’s also not forget that McClain’s status either. He finished the season on Injured Reserve with a spinal contusion and while his progress appears encouraging it’s an injury that requires rest and at this time doctors are proceeding with caution.
Here’s an option:
6’2″ , 245 lbs. , Louisiana State University
-Excellent Run defender
-Pass Coverage is improving but still a concern
-Awareness needs improvement
“Draft Expert” Mel Kiper Jr’s Comments:
“Word is the Ravens will be down an interior linebacker next season, and they should be thrilled if Minter is still around at this point. In fact, I can see Minter climbing higher, and maybe occupying the spot where Te’o goes, pushing Te’o down into this range. Minter is instinctive, shoots gaps, can play sideline to sideline and is particularly hard for blockers to line up. He’s a steady tackler, and a good quarterback for your defense. The Ravens need a new one, finally. The two defenders still had a chance to soak up the atmosphere and embrace the confetti as it fell to the turf, but they also had to watch Super Bowl XLVII from the sidelines hoping they would someday get a chance of their own to play on football’s biggest stage.”
Minter was his team’s most consistent defender in 2012. Minter is an excellent run-defender that attacks the line of scrimmage. He’s shown an ability to engage and shed blocks well from offensive lineman. He covers a lot of ground with plenty of speed to make tackles on stretch runs to the perimeter. He’s physical and plays the game with a bit of an an attitude, in a good way.
He seems like a good fit for Baltimore and may be a good value pick at the end of the first round as he projects to be a future three down starter in the NFL.