Around this time of year, the Mock Drafts are a dime a dozen and regardless of what they are predicting teams to do, it never pans out when the real thing happens, especially with the trades and at least one surprise pick at the top of the first round that can change everything. At the same time, it is a ton of fun to go through this exercise and then debate the merits of the picks.
SB Nation is doing an NFL blogs mock over at their great draft site, Mocking The Draft. I just made the selection for the Baltimore Ravens and since no trading is allowed, my pick is one that even I agree is a reach at the 29th slot, but still meets the greatest need on their roster. This mock is a two-round draft so keep checking out this link to stay abreast of all the picks until I am on the clock with the Ravens 2nd round pick.
In the meantime, here are a couple of other Mock Drafts, one by Don Banks of SI.com, who has the Ravens taking Alabama ILB Dont'a Hightower, and another by Mel Kiper from ESPN Insider, although you will need a paid subscription to view his draft in its entirety. Kiper has the Ravens taking Wisconsin center, Peter Konz, in the first round. Also check out our SB Nation brother over at the Chicago Bears blog, Windy City Gridiron, to see who they have the Ravens taking in their own Mock Draft.
(In case you are too lazy to click on the link to check out my pick in the SB Nation NFL blogger's two-round Mock Draft, see my selection and reasoning behind the pick along with the host's response after the 'Jump')
With the 29th pick in the 2012 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler.
Bruce Raffel explains:
"The Baltimore Ravens need to find a replacement for left guard Ben Grubbs, who bolted for the big bucks in free agency to the New Orleans Saints. The Ravens have mentioned trying last year’s 3rd round draft pick, Jah Reid, into that position, one that he has never played before. Ironically, the choice here was between Zeitler and his Wisconsin teammate, center Peter Konz. Konz is leaving college after his junior year and has been recovering from a dislocated ankle that kept him out of the second half of the 2011 season, and disappointed at the Combine in the bench press, putting up only 18 reps. Zeitler, which had 32 reps at the Combine, is a mauler while Konz is more of a wall-off blocker, which is not what the Ravens need in putting a lot of emphasis on the running game. Zeitler led the nation for knockdown blocks with 142 and had 33 blocks that led to touchdowns. This draft pick will be the type that the Ravens "plug-and-play" right away as soon as he hits the team’s practice field."
Dan Kadar responds:
"Although I have Konz rated considerably higher than Zeitler, it won't be a shock if the draft plays out this way. Zeitler is a smart, physical blocker who can play anywhere on the line except left tackle. He's a still-improving player who could become one of the better guards in the NFL in a short time."