The Big Question: Can Elam and Brown replace future Hall of Famers?
It's hard to find two teammates more valuable to their franchise over the past 12 to 15 years than Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. First-round safety Matt Elam and second-round linebacker Arthur Brown can't come close to replacing Lewis and Reed's leadership, but don't be surprised if the Ravens' defense is better this season than last.
If you grade the game instead of the name, it's obvious that Dannell Ellerbe outplayed Lewis last season. Reed simply didn't tackle well, and his range no longer is close to what it was in his prime.
Credit Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome for impressively rebuilding his defense on the fly after national media outlets obsessed over the team's big-name departures early in free agency.
- With seventh-round pick Aaron Mellette the only wide receiver drafted by the Ravens, the team will have to rely on some combination of Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss, Deonte Thompson and Tommy Streeter. Don't be surprised if Ed Dickson also takes on a bigger pass-catching role in two-tight end sets following the Anquan Boldin trade.
The draft is finally behind us. How did everybody do? Bucky Brooks breaks out the red pen and grades all 32 teams by division. More ...