Mocking The Draft recently held a live 7 round mock draft with fans/bloggers from every team acting as general managers and making picks for their teams. I had the honor of acting as the Ravens' GM and after a long, laborious draft process, I believe that I've drafted a successful mock class for the Ravens. I'm not going to say that everyone is going to love it because I strictly adhered to a BPA philosophy, which was solely based on my own big board.
That being said, I made two trades in the draft. In both trades, I moved up several picks. I knew ahead of time that I wanted to trade up to draft J.J. Watt if possible. Watt was the eighth overall player on my board and the player I believe would help the Ravens the most in the entire draft. With that in mind, I negotiated a trade with the Rams at 14th overall. I wanted to trade above the Patriots at 17th overall because I believed it was a strong possibility that they would draft Watt. I would have traded with the Patriots or any other team between 14th and 17th overall, but the Rams were the only team that showed interest.
Furthermore, I made out like a bandit in the trade with the Rams. I traded the Ravens' 1st round pick, which is 26th overall and worth 700 points by the trade chart, the 3rd round pick, which is 90th overall and worth 140 points, and the first 6th round pick, which is 175th overall and worth 22.4 points. Therefore, I received the Rams' 14th overall pick, which is worth 1100 points, for only 862.4 points, and that's in the Ravens' favor by 237.6 points, the relative equivalent of the 71st overall pick. Just to illustrate how good that trade was... I was negotiating with the Vikings at 12th overall, and they wanted the Ravens' 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th round picks for their 1st round pick. The funny part is that trade was still slightly in my favor. The second trade was more fair but still favored the Ravens. I traded the Ravens' 4th round pick, 122nd overall and 50 points, the second 6th round pick, 186th overall and 18 points, and the 7th round pick, 215th overall and 6.4 points, for the Seattle's 4th round pick, 99th overall and 104 points. That trade favored the Ravens by 29.6 points (104 - 74.4), the equivalent of the 157th overall pick. I made that trade because Marcus Gilbert was the BPA on my board and a huge need for the Ravens that I passed over in the first two picks. I drafted Gilbert at 99th overall, and he was the 59th overall player on my big board.
First round, 14th overall: Received via trade from St. Louis. Drafted J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin. Like I said above, I believe that Watt is one of the best 3-4 ends I have ever seen and a future super-star in the NFL. He's also my 8th overall rated player, and that makes him very underrated based on where he's ranked on other boards versus mine. I also believe that Watt could make a huge, immediate impact with the Ravens, and I believe immediate contribution will player a larger part than ever in the Ravens' draft. Watt would also be a great long-term pick as he would make the Ravens' defense very nasty for the foreseeable future. He just seems like the perfect player to trade up for in the Ravens' position. Furthermore, it's a mock... I'm trying to make it interesting. I wanted to see how trading up in the first round would impact the Ravens' draft. Highlights of Watt.
First round, 26th overall: Traded to St. Louis for their 14th overall pick.
Second round, 58th overall: Drafted Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois. I was not targeting LeShoure going into this draft. I scouted him only because I was scouting running-backs in general. After watching LeShoure on tape for 30 seconds, anyone can tell you that he's a first round prospect. He's an amazing player, spectacular on film. I honestly have him ranked over Mark Ingram as this year's best running back and as my 23rd overall player. He reminds me of Steven Jackson, and considering how much respect I have for Jackson, the league's best overall RB in my opinion, that's a huge compliment. I was targeting an offensive lineman with this pick, but I just couldn't pass on LeShoure at 58th overall and don't think the Ravens realistically would either. I'm sure LeShoure won't fall this far in the real draft. Highlights of LeShoure.
Third round, 90th overall: Traded to St. Louis for their 14th overall pick.
Fourth round, 99th overall: Received via trade from Seattle. Drafted Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida. Gilbert seems like a prototypical Baltimore offensive lineman. He's a big, strong man with versatility and could really help the Ravens this upcoming season. I'm not sure if he'll be starting, but last season taught us that be need as much depth as possible. I wish I could have been more original with this pick since I know this has been mocked to the Ravens by just about everyone here, but that's just how the draft panned out. I believe that drafting LeShoure was the correct move, but it put me into a bind looking for an offensive lineman. I lost my 3rd round pick in the trade with St. Louis. Luckily, Gilbert fell all the way through the third round into the fourth. My next pick was at 122nd overall, at the bottom of the fourth. Gilbert was really the last tackle on the board who could make any impact or even potentially start for the Ravens and my 55th ranked player. That made him a steal in the fourth and worth trading up for since I didn't believe he'd make it past the first six picks in that round. That's why I traded up, and I believe it was a worthwhile trade. I received good value based on the trade chart and my board. Furthermore, OT is a position of great need. Highlights of Gilbert.
Fifth round, 164th overall: Drafted Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa. This probably doesn't seem like the most interesting pick to most people since Stanzi isn't considered a starting caliber quarterback and the Ravens have a franchise quarterback. I've heard the comparisons to Matt Schaub in reference to Stanzi and can see that comparison. However, I see more Matt Ryan when watching his tape. I like Stanzi's leadership and decision making abilities, and he has good arm strength. Stanzi was an incredible value in the fifth round since he's generally considered a third to fourth round prospect. I had him ranked as my 75th overall player, and he was the BPA at 164th overall. Since Bulger is probably seeking out a starting job somewhere else, I believe quarterback is a need... making Stanzi a solid, value pick and a great potential backup for Joe Flacco. Highlights of Stanzi.
Fifth round, 165th overall: Drafted Greg Salas, WR, Hawaii. Salas is simply one of my favorite players in the draft, and that's why I drafted him. Most other scouts have him ranked much lower than 165th overall because they're concerned with his ability to transition to the NFL. Hawaii runs arguably the most un-NFL-like offense in college football and is notorious for having players rack up insane, NFL-irrelevant statistics. That doesn't scare me away from Salas, though. Most people would call this pick a reach, but I had Salas ranked as my 140th overall player. Salas reminds me of a faster Anquan Boldin. He's big, tough as nails and very good at YAC. He has the same reckless, aggressive style that I saw and loved in Tyson Alualu last season. Greg Salas is just fun to watch play football... much like Boldin, who was one of my favorite NFL players even before last season. Anyway, I know that many scouts are down on Salas, but I believe he will be drafted higher than anyone imagines because he has the same hard-nosed qualities that made Alualu a high pick last season. Highlights of Salas.
Sixth round, 175th overall: Traded to St. Louis for their 14th overall pick.
Sixth round, 186th overall: Traded to Seattle for their 99th overall pick.
Seventh round, 215th overall: Traded to Seattle for their 99th overall pick.
To see the entire live 7 round mock draft, please read the full write-up at Mocking The Draft!