Will the Ravens find a successor to Ray Lewis?
Entering the offseason, the front office viewed a new contract for Dannell Ellerbe as their top priority. One scout told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport that Ellerbe had emerged as the Ravens' best defensive player, stepping up his game when Ray Lewis went down with a torn triceps in October.
The Ravens have been popularly "mocked" to Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, LSU's Kevin Minter, Kansas State's Arthur Brown and Georgia's Alec Ogletree with the 32nd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. The problem is that several teams drafting from Nos. 19 to 31, including the New York Giants, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, have a need at inside or middle linebacker.
We can expect Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome to enter the draft with a "best player available" approach, but he can't ignore his roster needs if it's a close call on a pair of prospects. Should one of the top inside linebackers fall in Newsome's lap, there's a good chance he will pull the trigger on a player to fill Lewis' rather wide shoes.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.