This is a brand new article series that I am starting called “If I Were a GM.” This series will be articles about things I would do if I was the general manager of NFL Teams and list out the perfect scenario that could play out. I’m going to go through each NFL team and highlight some offseason moves and draft picks that would set that respective team up for the future. All 32 NFL teams will be included in this series and the series will end before the 2019 NFL Draft. I’m going to be wheeling and dealing and I hope you guys enjoy the series.
The Baltimore Ravens have a great football team and will be in the playoff picture once again in 2019. They have some hefty needs on the offensive side of the ball, but their defense has been amongst the league’s best for years. After losing in the first round of the playoffs in 2018, taking the next step and making a deep playoff run is what all Baltimore fans are craving.
What I have to work with: 33 million in cap space and 8 draft picks (Rounds 1, 3 (2), 4 (2), 5, and 6 (2))
Notable Players: Lamar Jackson, Marlon Humphery, Tavon Young, Ronnie Stanley, Justin Tucker, Marshal Yanda
Biggest Needs: WR, RB, EDGE, LB
The Ravens have already done their cap space work for the most part. They cut Crabtree and Eric Weddle. Letting go of Jimmy Smithand his 9 million dollar base salary is the next step. The Ravens are stacked at corner and with Smith gone, they not have 42 million dollars in cap space. Also releasing Sam Koch will free up 3 million in cap.
After releasing Jimmy Smith: 42,500,000 in cap space and 8 draft picks
The Ravens have some holes to fill and lucky for them, this free agency class has plenty of defensive talent. Their first signing should be Adrian Amos.After letting Weddle go, the Ravens need a safety. Pairing Amos with Tony Jefferson will give the Ravens a thunder and lightning duo in the back of the defense. Amos should be signed for around 8 million due to the stacked safety class. Resigning C.J. Mosley is key for the Ravens as well. He has been the heart of the Ravens defense and is still young and productive. 10 million a year should get the deal done.
After Free Agency signings: 27 million in cap space and 8 draft picks
The Ravens have needs on offense and have some mid round selections, that makes trading a very real possibility. Here is one that could shake some heads. Trade a 6th rounder and Greg Senat for Laquon Treadwell. This trade helps all parties. The Vikings need help on the OL and Senat is an upside player who can be developed to help the Vikings. On the other side, Treadwell has been a disappointment since being drafted. However, he is a big bodied wr, that has a great talent. A change of scenery can help him unlock his potential. Trading a 5th rounder for John Ross is the next step. Ross is another wideout with loads of potential but has battled injuries and inconsistency. The Bengals aren’t going to get any value for Ross, but getting a fifth round selection will be good enough for Ross. For the Ravens, the wideout will give them a vertical threat and as we saw with John Brown, a vertical threat can have great production in the Ravens offense. Lamar Jackson has great arm strength and Ross can use a change of scenery.
After Trades: Laquon Treadwell, John Ross, 6 draft picks (Round 1, 3 (2), 4 (2), and 6)
Round 1, Pick 22: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama- After trading for two wideouts, drafting a three down running back is the clear choice. Jacobs is an explosive running back and can give Lamar Jackson a running mate. Jacobs also catches passes extremely well so he will become a fixture in the passing game as well.
Round 3, Pick 21: Joe Jackson, EDGE, Miami- The Ravens have a stout defense, but you can never have too many pass rushers. Joe Jackson is a raw but gifted edge rusher and with some reps, he can add a pass rushing presence to the defense.
Round 3, Pick 25: Germaine Pratt, NC State- Trade Picks 102 and 193 to the Colts for Pick 89.After losing Za’Darius Smith in free agency, we need a outside linebacker. Pratt plays at a massive 240 pounds but he ran the 40 in 4.57 second. It shows his ability to play with speed, and that is what I need in the second level of my scheme.
3 remaining picks are in positions of need are (in order): CB, WR, OL, DT
The Ravens are not far away from being AFC Championship contenders. As seen last in 2018, a great defense but a one dimensional offense can only lead you so far. The development of Lamar Jackson is the biggest key in 2019.If he can improve as a passer then the offense goes to another level. A re-done wide receiver corps now include Laquon Treadwell, John Ross, and Willie Snead. While it seems like an underperforming pass catching group, there is a great amount of upside with this group. Josh Jacobsgives the offense a new dimension out of the backfield, and the defense is still among the league’s best. The Ravens are primed for a 2019 playoff run.