Do the Baltimore Ravens need to replace Ed Reed and Ray Lewis in the 2013 NFL Draft?
By Hunter Stewart
The answer to the above question is…YES! The Baltimore Ravens have been known for their defense going back to the 2000 NFL Super Bowl championship team. The key player on that NFL team was the Middle Linebacker out of the University of Miami and future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis. In 2002 the Baltimore Ravens added Ed Reed to the roster who since that time has been arguably the best Safety in the NFL (other potential best safety is Troy Polamalu). I believe that Ed Reed like Ray Lewis will also end up being a Hall of Famer. Both of these players have played their entire career in with the Baltimore Ravens and both of them have arguably been the best player in their respective positions almost since they they have become NFL Players. With that being said both Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are declining in production and becoming increasingly more injury prone. So what I will do is look at potential replacements for both for both of these players for the Ravens to draft in the 2013 NFL Draft.
I will talk about potential replacements for Ed Reed first. If you want to see rankings of the top safeties in the 2013 NFL Draft check out Tyler’s 2013 NFL draft rankings here. The best safety in the 2013 NFL Draft seems to be Eric Reid across the board. He most likely could play either safety position and is good in the run defense as well as the pass defense. He is not a center fielder like Ed Reed seems to be but they may need a guy that can be more of a run stopper with their decline in the linebacker crew. The next prospect I like for the Ravens is TJ McDonald. McDonald does have that sit back and reed the QB and try to pick him off. He has more of the charecteristics that Ed Reed does and I believe he would also be a good fit for the Ravens. Lastly, and the last prospect that I believe is a first round Safety prospect is Kenny Vaccaro out of Texas. Vaccaro has the skill set and speed to play in the box and also to play deeper in a zone scheme. I think that any of these players would be good replacements for the legendary Ed Reed and would be good draft selections for the Baltimore Ravens in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Ray Lewis tore his bicep and is out for the remainder of the 2012 NFL Season. He says that he is going to come back next year which I am sure the Ravens are happy about. The only thing is that Lewis’ production has been decreasing of late and he is no longer a 3 down linebacker. I see 3 first round prospects in the 2013 NFL draft that could be good and immediate replacements for Ray Lewis. The first one and most obvious seeing as he is the top Linebacker in College Football is Manti Te’O out of Notre Dame. Te’O is a great fit to replace Ray Lewis due to his ability to be around the ball and make great tackles. If I was a betting man I would bet that in the 2013 NFL Draft Manti Te’O will be off the board by the time the Baltimore Ravens are drafting. The other two options I could see the Ravens going with are Alec Ogletree out of Georgia and Shayne Skov out of Stanford. Ogletree is a very athletic Linebacker who was moved from the Safety position and Skov is a bulky inside linebacker. Both of these guys are likely to be available when the Ravens draft and are both good fits for their defense.
If you want to see where I have these players being drafted and who I have the Baltimore Ravens selecting check out my Mock Draft below…
Check out my 2013 NFL Mock Draft and others below: