Ravens Draft Buzz

Featured, Sports and Bets — March 26, 2014 at 4:39 pm by

The combine is done, pro days are winding down, and prospect visits are getting ready to vamp up.  The NFL draft is rapidly approaching and there is quite a buzz around Charm City about who will be the next Ravens first round draft pick.

With the moves Ozzie has pulled off over the first wave of free agency, the Ravens are in an excellent position to take the best player available, regardless of position.  We now have four starting caliber offensive lineman on our roster, with the versatility to add one more good one; whether it be a tackle or a guard.  The pickup of Jeremy Zuttah was just what the doctor ordered.  He is a significant upgrade over Gino Gradkowski, and he has the ability to play guard as well.  That gives the Ravens the ability to insert KO wherever they need him next year, either left guard or right tackle.  At pick 17, if one of the top three tackles were somehow to fall to the Ravens, they could exercise the luxury of taking an offensive lineman to finish off the starting line.

Another possible direction that the Ravens could go in would be to take a free safety at 17 to step right in next to Matt Elam.  Ozzie professed at the onset of the offseason that they were going to add an athletic free safety, which would allow Elam to go back to his more natural strong safety position.  The problem is if Ha Ha Clinton-Dix isn’t there (and he shouldn’t be), the next best consensus safety is Calvin Pryor of Louisville, and Pryor doesn’t fit the mold that Ozzie is looking for.  Pryor is a better in the box player, and therefore basically the same player as Matt Elam.  I would hate to see the Ravens play another year with two strong safeties on the back-end. There are better suited free safeties that can be had in the second and third rounds.

I know for a fact that Ozzie would have a terribly tough time passing on a player like Michigan State corner Darqueze Dennard if he fell to them at 17.  You can never have enough good corners and Dennard could eventually become a number one corner.  In the meantime he could help soften the blow of losing Corey Graham, and eventually allow the Ravens to move Ladarius Webb to free safety a few years down the road.

But what I really want to see the Ravens add this year in the first round is an offensive playmaker.  Whether it’s a wide receiver or tight end Eric Ebron, the Ravens need a game breaker.  The addition of Steve Smith was fantastic, but it’s a short-term benefit.  It could be the perfect time to draft a receiver and let him learn under the Smiths, and come in and contribute on third downs.  The Ravens brass have definitely done their homework on this receiver class, so I know they have a guy they’re targeting in the first round.  I personally would love to see the Ravens trade back a few spots and take Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State.  I think he is the perfect compliment to Torrey Smith with his size and ability to move the chains.

With the addition of the four compensatory draft picks, the Ravens now possess nine picks in all, including two thirds and two fourths.  I would be ecstatic if the Ravens came out of this draft with the aforementioned offensive playmaker, a starting free safety, a right tackle, a running back, a corner, a nose tackle, a five technique defensive end, a developmental quarterback, and a special teams demon.  That would be my perfect Ravens draft.

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