Ravens Draft Preview: Part One

Featured, Sports and Bets — March 28, 2013 at 8:53 am by

The NFL has awarded compensatory picks and the draft order has been set. The Ravens are sitting pretty and are second to only San Francisco with 12 total picks. Everyone knows that the Ravens have many holes to fill after losing upwards of nine major contributors from last year’s Super Bowl winning team, but as ESPN analyst Michael Smith stated about the Ravens on First Take ,”some teams spend money in March and some teams make money in April.”   

The fact is that the Ravens are always at the top of their game when it comes to the draft. When taking into account that they are almost always are picking in the bottom third of the first round, it makes it even more impressive that they have produced so many home grown pro bowlers and quality NFL starters.

Here is a list of the Ravens positional needs along with some prospects to keep your eye on in the first round of April’s draft.

Team Positional Needs

1. Inside Linebacker- At least one starter has to come out of this draft.

2. Safety- Both safety positions could stand to be upgraded but a starting free safety is imperative. (Michael Huff has since been signedao3 to start at free safety, but a young safety is still a priority for the Ravens.)

3. Left Tackle- It’s unlikely the Ravens find a plug-in starter here but it’s essential they draft someone to groom.

4. Wide Receiver- With the loss of Q they need to acquire some more weapons for Joe Flacco. Perhaps a stud possession receiver could push Tandon Doss for playing time.

5. Pass Rusher- With the addition of Elvis Dumervill the Ravens have the immediate help they needed, however a young one to groom would still be a nice addition.

6. Defensive Line- The Ravens have addressed this need through free agency but look for them to still add a young lineman or two to put in the rotation.

Prospects To Watch: Round 1                                                                                                                                      

Kevin Minter

Kevin Minter

ILB-Kevin Minter(LSU) -Minter is a highly productive, SEC battle tested linebacker who was the main cog in an LSU defense that will produce anywhere from 3-5 first and second rounders. He’s a thumper against the run and fluid in pass coverage. The only negative isthat the recent lineage of LSU linebackers have not translated well to the NFL.

LB Alec Ogletree(Georgia)- A highly productive converted safety, Ogletree is extremely athletic and can play both inside and outside linebacker. He can rush the passer, drop in coverage, and plays the run well. He is rumored to be a little immature but his athleticism will not allow him out of the first round.

NT John Jenkins(Georgia)- Another Georgia product, this massive run stuffing nose tackle could definitely be the upgrade we need over Terrance Cody.  Jenkins not only plugs up the running game, but can get a good inside push on passing downs. He recorded the only sack allowed this year by Alabama’s all world guard Chance Wormack. Lucky for Baltimore, who is picking 32, there is still a chance Jenkins may be there because of the overall strength of the defensive tackle class this year. There could be as many as 8 DT s going in the first round.                                                                 

Keenan Allen

Keenan Allen

WR Keenan Allen(Cal)-I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Ravens go receiver with their first pick. Guaranteed they have their eyes on WVU speedster and Baltimore native Tavon Austin, but they would have to trade up to get him. If they were to stand pat a guy who might fall to them is the highly productive junior out of Cal, Keenan Allen. At 6″2 Allen has nice size, sneaky speed, and good route running ability. Allen is not the pure playmaker that Austin is but Allen has the tools to be a consistent possession receiver in the mold of the recently departed Anquan Boldin.

G/RT D.J. Flucker(Alabama)-We all know Ozzie’s soft spot for Alabama players, and if this massive 300 plus pound mauling lineman is there I don’t see him passing. Flucker would be a nice addition for the Ravens because he would give them the flexibility of playing guard or right tackle. If the Ravens are convinced Oher can handle the left tackle spot, then Flucker could plug in at left guard or right tackle with K.O. playing the other spot. The one thing we know is that Ozzie has his plan for protecting the blind spot of number one investment, Joe Flacco.

Here is what we know, the Ravens will absolutely take the best player available regardless of position. And as it seems to every year, a stud player will fall to them for whatever reason and the Ravens will pounce.

This was only part one of our draft preview. Next we will look at some prospects the Ravens will be considering in round two with the 62nd pick.

 

 

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