The Ravens would like to find a starting safety in this draft, but the pool is slim. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama and Calvin Pryor of Louisville could be gone by the time the Ravens pick No. 17. If the Ravens do not get Jimmie Ward of Northern Illinois, Deone Bucannon of Washington St., or Lamarcus Joyner of Florida St. in the second round, there may not be a safety left that is worthy of starting.
“As far as the elite safety, it’s down,” Don Gregory director of college scouting for the Panthers, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “There’s solid ones but there’s not an elite guy.”
The Ravens signed safety Darian Stewart during free agency, but he has been plagued by injuries during his four-year career. The Ravens would like to play Matt Elam primarily at strong safety, putting him in the box more often to take advantage of his tackling and pursuit skills. Elam played plenty of free safety last season next to James Ihedigbo, but Ihedigbo departed to the Lions in free agency.
Perhaps the Ravens will sign a veteran free agent safety later if they cannot find one in the draft. But just like the Ravens missed center Matt Birk in 2013 after he retired, the Ravens may miss Ihedigbo more than they thought in 2014.