In a couple of our recent
MV: What are your thoughts on how the Ravens fared last season? Did they meet your expectations?
MW: It was a great year. They were a chip-shot field goal away from really doing something. It’s an awful difficult way of being eliminated, of course, and we’ll see how the team responds. I think they are as mentally tough to handle something like that as any team in the league. They have great veteran leadership and I am very much a believer in this coaching staff. … I know [a year ago] I certainly had some worries about the passing game, the weaponry. I think that’s still there.
MV: Flacco appeared to be more comfortable in the shotgun than under center. Do you see the same thing watching him play?
MW: Yes, and I think an aspect of his development and the offense in general is that I really don’t think
MV: The Ravens re-signed
I really like Webb. He had a great year. Tough guy. Fits their system really well. Probably his best time is ahead of him. That was a great signing. I actually thought some team might sniff around. He and [
MV: You mentioned Ray Lewis. It's a question every spring, but what are the chances of finding replacements for Ray and
MW: It's a really weak safety class. The only real high-end guy is [Alabama'sMark] Barron. He's not like an Reed, centerfielder type of player. It does worry me that Lewis and/or Reed could fall off a cliff sooner or later or consistently be injured. … It worries that we're going to see less and less of them on the field. I hope that's not the case, but you never know. It inevitably happens to all players. You're not going to replace those guys. To think that you're going to find the next Ed Reed or the next Ray Lewis, they're Hall of Famers. You're not going to get those guys, and you're certainly not going to get them at the 29th pick. Those type of prospects, they're going in the top 10. … It worries me that they're not that deep at safety and not that deep at linebacker, and there aren't that many prospects out there to really get better at those positions, either.
MV: How tough it will be to replace
MW: I think you really need to address the whole offensive line. That, to me, is their biggest weakness right now. I think
MV: In a recent article, you listed the Ravens as one of a few teams that need to have a strong draft…
MW: There are lofty standards there. Much like Pittsburgh, it wasn’t a really kind offseason to them. … The division is difficult. Cincinnati has two first-round picks and they brought back a lot of their own talent. It’s not going to be easy for the Ravens to maintain the status that they’re at and they can’t afford to miss on a pick or two because they have plenty of needs, including some smaller ones, too. They need to find a legit backup to
MV: Is it a deep offensive line class this year? Will there be solid prospects in the later rounds?
MW: Yeah, I think they can certainly find a starting-caliber guard in the second or third round. I'm not really high on the center class in general, so I think Konz should be a key target for them because of his versatility and his ability to play center for them in the future. At tackle, I think they could do OK there. … One thing that's nice about [their situation] is that finding two interior offensive linemen won't cost you an arm and a leg.
MV: What about the wide receiver class?
MW: One guy I really like for them is LSU’s
MV: You talked about finding someone to pair with Suggs. Down the stretch last season, teams were able to neutralize Suggs and no one else really stepped up. What type of player do they need to target?