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King Weighs In On Ravens’ Biggest Needs

Baltimore has acknowledged various needs, but Peter King says it starts in the secondary.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Saturday, February 26th, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Categories: 2011 NFL Combine, Mike Duffy

SI.com’s venerable NFL writer Peter King doesn’t put out his mock draft until a week before selection weekend, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking about it regularly.

The Ravens have acknowledged they could bolster various areas of need – receiver, corner, pass rush and offensive line – but King believes the team must focus on the secondary first.

Safety Ed Reed’s age (32) and injury history leave his long-term future uncertain, while the Ravens have several cornerbacks (Chris Carr, Fabian Washington, Josh Wilson) scheduled to become free agents.

“If I were looking at them, secondary would be No. 1, both at corner and safety,” said King on Saturday.  “Ed Reed’s getting up there, and you have no idea how much longer he’s going to last.”

King then looked toward the offensive line, where there could be a lot of upheaval, considering Jared Gaither’s tenuous status while he returns from a back injury and free agent-to-be Marshal Yanda’s vacillation between tackle and guard, depending on the situation.

Said King, “Even though their offensive line is OK, I think with the uncertainty surrounding Jared Gaither and not knowing whether Yanda is a guard or a tackle right now, if I were to pinpoint two spots, I would say secondary and offensive line.”

King offered a caveat that an uncertain labor situation could cancel free agency or at least make it difficult to improve in that manner.

King said that at this point, the draft is the best way to go.

As selection weekend nears, King offers two places to start.

Get more insight from Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta and Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine by following 1WinningDrive on Twitter

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