Ravens’ Biggest Team Hole Still Seen as Key Defensive Roster Spot

Olivier Vernon

Getty Olivier Vernon pursues Steelers QB Josh Dobbs in 2021.

The Baltimore Ravens have a strong roster assembled for 2021, but the team could still make a few moves in order to secure their position for next season.

Many continue to see the edge spot as the biggest need for the Ravens even in spite of the additions the team has made, and the thought that the spot is a hole for the roster continues as Baltimore pushes toward training camp once again in 2021.

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Bleacher Report writer Brad Gagnon took a look at picking out some of the biggest roster holes for teams across the league, and the edge spot still stood out for the Ravens, whom Gagnon seems to think need yet another addition to the roster to round things out.

He said:

“The Baltimore Ravens lost top edge defenders Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in the offseason, leaving a lot on the shoulders of Pernell McPhee (who is 32 and hasn’t had a five-sack season since he was 27), Tyus Bowser (who has been held to three or fewer sacks in three of his four campaigns) and Calais Campbell (who has declined as he enters his mid-thirties).

They did use a first-round pick on pass-rusher Odafe Oweh, but he may need some time to develop after a zero-sack 2020 season at Penn State.

There’s at least plenty of depth on the edge with Jaylon Ferguson and rookie fifth-round pick Daelin Hayes joining that committee, but the front office would be smart to attempt to get a late-summer discount on an established player such Justin Houston, Olivier Vernon or Trent Murphy.”

Bargains could be hard to find at this point, but if the Ravens feel they needed one more player, they haven’t acted like it. The team is depending on some young players and role players alike to step up, so it will be interesting to see if they consider the edge spot a need or not.

Others still see it as a massive need for the team heading into 2021.


Free Agent Edge Options for Ravens

While Justin Houston has been the most-referenced player who could be added by the team, he is far from the only player that is on the market. Olivier Vernon, Everson Griffen and Ezekiel Ansah are still on the market and available for the team to sign. Baltimore has made things work with veteran players before, so it stands to reason why Houston could be top on their board if they choose to make a move.

Regardless, the Ravens might have no choice but to jump and make a move to avoid having a bigger problem down the line on defense.


Pressure on Ravens Linemen for 2021

Knowing how many questions this defensive group has, how will the Ravens have success? That will depend on a few young guns stepping up like Odafe Oweh and Daelin Hayes. Additionally, the Ravens have some other players who need to step up such as Jihad Ward and Pernell McPhee. The only way the team is going to account for this is to have multiple players stepping up and contributing, which was just how things were when Judon and Ngakoue were playing for the squad last year.

Through the years, the Ravens have managed to find players to pressure the passer. They might be called to do that once again given some of their potential roster holes at this point.

READ NEXT: Ravens Facing Training Camp Pressure in 2021


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