Commentary

Post-draft needs: AFC North

Biggest remaining needs for the Ravens, Browns, Bengals and Steelers

Originally Published: May 3, 2011
By Aaron Schatz | Football Outsiders
Ike TaylorMichael Fabus/Getty ImagesThe Steelers could have some issues at the cornerback position.

This is part of a series in which Football Outsiders looks at the biggest holes remaining on each team after the NFL draft. Usually, that means the biggest holes remaining after the draft and free agency, but obviously 2011 is a little different. So some of these holes may not actually be holes if teams re-sign their own players, and other holes will be filled during free agency and won't necessarily last into training camp.


Baltimore Ravens: Pass rush

It's been a while since the Ravens had significant holes on defense, but those holes were clearly there going into the 2011 draft. First-round cornerback Jimmy Smith will do a lot to fill one of those holes, as three of last year's top four Baltimore cornerbacks are free agents this offseason. However, the Ravens pass rush also needs help up front, as Baltimore struggled to get to the passer last season. The Ravens had only 27 sacks and finished 27th in Football Outsiders' Adjusted Sack Rate metric.

Baltimore essentially had a two-man pass rush last year: outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and defensive end Haloti Ngata. Together they had 17 sacks; no other Ravens defender had more than three. Together they had 20 quarterback hits; no other Baltimore defender had more than four. Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson was very good dropping into pass coverage, but didn't really bring pressure on the quarterback from the outside.


To read the rest of Football Outsiders' analysis of the Baltimore Ravens, plus the biggest post-draft holes for every team in the AFC North, you must be an ESPN Insider.