Targets If The Ravens Were To Trade Up In The Draft

Sports and Bets — April 20, 2015 at 11:42 pm by

by Babes

We all know Ozzie Newsome has shown a fondness for trading back in the first round to acquire more picks.  Twice he’s done it in the past five years (he tried to do it a third time but the Bears fouled that up) and I’ve already discussed the merits of Ozzie doing it again this year.  But this draft offers some attractive possibilities for the Ravens to move up, and given the right circumstances, I could see Ozzie pulling the trigger.

Teams at the bottom of round one only trade up into the top half of the first round when they find players they see as cornerstones.  The cost is very high in compensation back to the trade partner in these circumstances and that’s why these scenarios are so few and far between.  The Atlanta Falcons gave away a king’s ransom to trade up from the bottom of round one to the sixth pick in 2011 to snag Julio Jones.  The Steelers moved from around that same area in the back part of round one to the middle of round one to land safety Troy Polamalu, and that move turned okay.  I didn’t, but if I were to go back and find the players that were drafted in the spots that the Steelers gave away, I dare say they don’t measure up to the sum of Polamalu’s value to the Steelers franchise over the years.

With ten total selections in this year’s draft, Ozzie may just have enough ammo to move up higher in the first round to grab a highly coveted prospect.  A true number one receiver, a game changing pass rusher, or a top cover man could very well be worth the move up if the Ravens brass believes he can be a perennial pro bowler.

So, in this fun exercise, I took a look at what players I would move up to draft, and what compensation it would take to make each move possible.

Amari Cooper is being touted as Reggie Wayne with better speed, and that translates into a true number one wide receiver to me.  There is a chance Cooper could fall slightly if the two quarterbacks go and some team falls in love with the other top rated receiver, Kevin White.  Cooper will make multiple pro bowls and if he were to fall to nine where the Giants sit, a first this year, a second this year, and a first rounder next year would be the price to get ahead of St. Louis to grab him.  Enticing, but just too much to give up, especially with the way the Ravens draft.

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Another candidate that the Ravens will consider trading up for is top corner Trae Wayans, out of Michigan State.  Wayans has the size and press ability to draw the opposing team’s best receiver week in and week out.  Think of a Ravens secondary rolling out Wayans and Jimmy Smith on the outside, with Webb playing the nickel.  Quite enticing, babes, but that would allocate way too much salary to the secondary.    A move like this would most definitely mean the Ravens don’t believe they can get Jimmy Smith signed to an extension.  Minnesota is the likely landing spot for Wayans at pick 11, so a trade up to ten would be necessary to secure his services.  You’re also probably talking a pick this year, and a first rounder next year to move up for Wayans.

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A more realistic scenario is if a pass rusher like Vic Beasley, or Shane Ray, were to somehow get past New Orleans at 13.  That, to me, is the spot where the Ravens would consider jumping up to grab the right guy.  A move from 26 to 14 might only warrant a second and a fourth round pick. (Along, of course, with this year’s first.) Miami would be ecstatic to make that deal, because they would be able to still get a decent corner that they would otherwise have to reach for at 14 with Trae Wayans already gone.  The Ravens need to find a third pass rusher to help on third downs, in addition to being the heir apparent to Terrell Suggs at outside linebacker.

I also feel like at this same spot, if the consensus third rated receiver Devante Parker were available, the Ravens could make a move.  Pending they feel Parker is a game breaker, the move would then make a ton of sense.  I won’t be upset if they trade up anywhere to get a receiver, because that means they feel he will be a number one guy.

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One other interesting scenario would be trading up for running back Todd Gurley.  I was initially against drafting a back in the first round, but with Gurley given a clean bill of health, he may be too good to pass up.  Drawing comparisons to Marshawn Lynch, Gurley is a three down back that has a proven track record in the SEC, without all the wear and tear of a typical runner’s collegiate career.  The mid to late teens is where I project Gurley to be selected, so this year’s first, a second, and a late fourth or fifth could get the deal done.

The last player I would trade up for is corner Marcus Peters.  But in this case, I would only trade up one or two spots to do it.  Giving up a fifth round pick to move one or two spots to secure Peters would be a prudent move because Peters will be coveted.  Not so much by Carolina, who holds the 25th pick, but a team looking to trade up ahead of the Ravens to snag him.

If these scenarios present themselves, then I can see the Ravens trading up.  I believe if the Ravens do trade up, it will be for a falling pass rusher.  Otherwise I see Ozzie either staying put or moving back a touch.  With draft day rapidly approaching, excitement will be on the rise here in Baltimore to see what pieces we add to our aspiring championship team.

cover: chatsports

 

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