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Free agency was quiet for the Ravens for the first 10 days.
But yesterday, they made a splash by bringing back Jameel McClain and Brendon Ayanbadejo and signing free agents Corey Graham and Sean Considine. Baltimore also brought back veteran center Matt Birk on a three-year deal.
The Ravens have lost some of their own free agents, as Ben Grubbs, Jarret Johnson Cory Redding, Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura all have new homes.
So how have these moves affected what the experts think the Ravens will do in next month’s draft?
Wes Bunting, National Football Post Posted March 21 LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
Junior; 6-3, 235; 191 tackles, three interceptions
“A tackling machine with good size, natural instincts and above-average athleticism. Is the kind of talent the Ravens could use inside as an eventual replacement for Ray Lewis.”
Chad Reuter, NFL.com Posted March 20 S Mark Barron, Alabama
Senior; 6-1, 223; 68 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery
“Losing Tom Zbikowski to the Colts puts finding a young safety near the top of the priority list. Barron’s been considered the best of a weak class at the position most of the year and should seal that grade with a strong pro day workout at the end of the month.”
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com Posted March 16 LB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
“It is time for the Ravens to find a viable replacement for Ray Lewis. Hightower is a natural leader with a multi-faceted skill set that brings an added dimension to the Ravens’ 3-4.”
Charley Casserly, NFL.com Posted March 21 LB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
Junior; 6-3, 266; 85 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 1 interception
“Time to develop a replacement for Ray Lewis.”
Peter Schrager, FOX Sports Posted March 21 LB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
“The Ravens lost a longtime reliable cog in Jarret Johnson this week. Ray Lewis isn’t getting any younger, either. It’s time to upgrade at the linebacker spot. If Hightower — the third-rated inside linebacker talent on my board — is available, they should go ahead and grab him.
“A tackling machine out of Nick Saban’s defensive star factory down in Tuscaloosa, he could make an impact right away. And remember, Ozzie Newsome is an Alabama guy, too.”
Rob Rang, CBS Sports Posted March 19 OG Cordy Glenn, Georgia
Senior; 6-5, 346, 14 starts
“At first glance, the Ravens aren’t likely to find a prospect at this point capable of making up for the loss of free agent Ben Grubbs. In the massive Glenn, however, general manager Ozzie Newsome might once again find a falling star who could help immediately. Glenn’s versatility and durability was proven over his four starting seasons in the SEC but scouts would like to see him play with a little more nastiness.”
Dane Brugler, CBS Sports Posted March 19 C Peter Konz, Wisconsin
“Even with 14-year veteran center Matt Birk re-upping with the team, the Ravens could still take a long look at the Wisconsin pivot who can also play guard. He has the skill-set to play any of the interior line positions and is clearly the top center in this draft class. Konz would be able to fill the hole left by Ben Grubs before moving back to his natural spot at center when Birk hangs it up.
Pat Kirwan, CBS Sports Posted March 12 LB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
“It is time to develop the heir apparent to Ray Lewis. Hightower is a classic middle linebacker type who can play alongside Ray for a year or two and then take over.”
Matt Vensel, Baltimore Sun Posted March 21 LB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
“Smart, disciplined and instinctive, Hightower can be plugged in next to Ray Lewis right away.”
WalterFootball.com Posted March 21 C Peter Konz, Wisconsin
“I have to believe the Ravens will draft Peter Konz if he’s available. He’ll probably be the top prospect on the board, and he fits the blocking scheme perfectly. He also would fill a big need. Matt Birk won’t be playing for much longer, so Baltimore needs a successor. In the meantime, Konz can play at guard as Ben Grubbs’ replacement.”