The Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens won’t kick off their 2016 season until September 11th, but during the down time in the NFL offseason, we are going to take a look at the Ravens with some help from our SB Nation blog, Baltimore Beatdown:
Notable free agent additions: DB Eric Weddle, WR Mike Wallace, TE Benjamin Watson
Notable departures: OT Eugene Monroe, OG Kelechi Osemele, QB Matt Schaub, OLB Courtney Upshaw
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies:
1st round (6th overall) OT Ronnie Stanley - When Eugene Monroe was cut, it was clear the Ravens have complete faith for the young gun to become a blindside blocker
2nd round (42nd overall) LB Kamalei Correa - There is some uncertainty where Correa will be playing, as the Ravens are testing the speedy LB at inside & outside positions. Nonetheless, expect Correa to be a rotational necessity.
4th round (134th overall) RB Kenneth Dixon - The tailback from Louisiana Tech is expected to eventually become the starter but not by the season opener.
Biggest offseason addition: Eric Weddle - No doubt the highly intelligent and skilled safety is the biggest addition. Once (now-Bills defensive backs assistant coach) Ed Reed left the back end of the defense seems in disarray. Expect him to ground the secondary and make the Ravens defense great again.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: Health - Baltimore suffered loses to starting OLB, QB, RB, WR, WR, TE, LT and many second-string role players in 2015.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: Dennis Pitta’s return - The reason for calling this under-the-radar is we’ve heard this story twice. It’s less notable now.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: LOL. . . Joe Flacco ACL & MCL, Steve Smith Sr. Achilles, Terrell Suggs Achilles, Jimmy Smith screw removal, Dennis Pitta dislocated hip, Breshad Perriman ACL minor tear, Crockett Gillmore shoulder surgery
Buffalo will be in Baltimore on Sunday, September 11th, for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff. Thanks again to Baltimore Beatdown!