Drafting a quarterback in the first round is a risky proposition. Which is why the Ravens have been ecstatic to see the development of Joe Flacco, who last year "became the first quarterback in NFL history to start and win a playoff game in each of his first three seasons."
Despite showing that he's more susceptible to win a game rather than put up big numbers on the box score (a la hated rival Ben Roethlisberger), Flacco has proven to the team that he's a winner.
And now that Flacco has proved he's more boom than bust, the team has shown it's willing to fork over some cash to surround him with playmakers who can catch the ball.
Last year, the Ravens signed three-time Pro Bowler Anquan Boldin to a four-year, $28 million deal. Though his numbers were down -- his fewest receptions and receiving yards in seven seasons -- the veteran was still the No. 1 option, leading Baltimore in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
But when the NFL lockout ended a few weeks ago, Baltimore set out to upgrade its receiving options. It cut veterans Todd Heap and Derrick Mason, long-time staples around M&T Bank Stadium, and it set out to sign a big-name receiver to complement Boldin.
The Ravens struck out on signing Malcom Floyd (San Diego) and Jerricho Cotchery (New York Jets), and whiffed on re-signing Mason for less money.
Though the Ravens return just 45% of their receptions from last year, the team is hoping drafting Maryland receiver Torrey Smith and Indiana receiver Tandon Doss in April will pay dividends.
It's likely too late to sign a big-name receiver, so the team is depending on one of Smith or Doss to start and make an impact.
There's already a noticeably younger crowd of pass-catchers at Ravens training camp. Last year, Baltimore's top five receivers and tight ends averaged 31.8 years of age. This year, that top five group averages just 24.6 years.
Though it remains Baltimore's biggest question mark, if everything breaks right, it could be Flacco's first trip to a Pro Bowl.