For The Ravens, Trading Back May Be The Right Play

Sports and Bets — April 8, 2015 at 10:08 pm by

by Babes

We all know Ozzie Newsome is a wizard when it comes to draft maneuvering.  He is not afraid to move back, even when picking in the first round, when the board dictates that moving back is the right thing to do. The Ravens love draft picks; and that’s because Ozzie knows that building a consistent winner is done primarily through the draft.

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This year moving back a few spots may be the play for Ozzie and Company due to the strength of the prospects that dwell around the 30-40 overall pick range.  Many of these players have first round grades, but only 32 players will go in round one.  Players like Maxx Williams, Devin Smith, Byron Jones, Kevin Johnson, and Breshad Perryman all fall in that range, and all are first-round worthy players.  Tight end Maxx Williams is being compared to Todd Heap, while Devin Smith draws many comparisons to Torrey Smith.  Byron Jones is a corner so athletic that he broke the broad jump record at the combine.  Breshad Perryman ran a sub 4.3 forty at his pro day, and Kevin Johnson may be able to step in and start at nickel corner from day one for any NFL team that drafts him.  There is a lot of immense talent that will be hanging around at the top of round two, should the Ravens decide to move back.

For the Ravens to even think about moving back out of round one, they need a trade partner that desires to come back into the first round.  In my opinion the opportunity will be there, and it’s due to the offensive and defensive lineman that will be available at the end of the first round.  Good offensive lineman don’t last long in drafts, however ,this years’ class lacks top-end star power.  The consensus best lineman of the draft, Iowa’s Brandon Scheriff, may be best suited to play guard at the NFL level, and that fact alone will push him down draft boards.  After him, there is Erick Flowers, who will probably go next, but he may be best suited to start his career at right tackle, which will push him down a touch as well.  All this pushing down of lineman will help the Ravens if they have plans of moving back.  The teams at the top of the second round, many of whom need lineman in the worst way but can’t afford to reach for one in the first round, will want to come up and take the lineman still sitting there at the end of round one. All the potential left tackles in this draft have question marks.  Add in that many of the top tackles taken in the last few years at the top of the draft have under-performed to their high pick expectations, and you will have lineman falling.  Players like DJ Humphries, TJ Clemmings, Andrus Peat, and La’el Collins all have first round potential, but none are sure-fire, day one starters at left tackle.  That means come mid-twenties, teams will reach back up to snag what is left once the O-Linemen start going rapidly.

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Another reason the lineman will fall in the draft this year is the plethora of wide receivers and pass rushers available. These positions will be dominating the first half of the first round.  There could be easily six receivers going in the top twenty, to go along with six pass rushers in the top 23.  Throw in two quarterbacks and running back Todd Gurley, who seems to be gaining steam, and that leaves most of the top twenty picks accounted for without accounting for any other positions.  Interior Defensive lineman Leonard Williams and nose tackle Danny Shelton are guaranteed top ten picks- so there are two more spots not going to offensive lineman.  That still leaves top corner Trae Waynes, and top safety Landon Collins who could go anywhere from pick 10-25. All of those players coming off the board leaves a bunch of really good defensive lineman like Malcolm Brown, Eddie Goldman, Arik Armstead, and Jordan Phillips available; and teams could covet these players right where the Ravens select.  To me, this high number of high quality offensive and defensive lineman being on the board where the Ravens pick leaves a huge demand that the Ravens would be foolish to pass up.

If the Ravens move back, let’s say from 26 to 34, that should net an extra third round pick.  Also, that third round pick would be at the top of the third round, and that could be used as a bargaining chip to move back up into the later portion of the second round to give the Ravens three selections in the first sixty, or so, picks.  Imagine leaving the second round with tight end Devin Funchess, cornerback Quinton Rollins, and receiver Phillip Dorsett.  I would say that improves the team substantially.  Remember, the Ravens were able to snag Timmy Jernigan in round two last year, and draft analyst are already saying he should have gone in the first round.  Of course, this should all be for naught if the right wide receiver should fall to 26, as I feel that needs to be priority number one in the draft.  You can say what you want, but the Ravens will not go far offensively if they don’t acquire some speed on the outside.  But if that stud receiver fails to make it the Ravens, trading back out of the first round is a move that Ozzie should strongly consider.

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cover: blackpressusa

 

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