After looking at the pool of draft prospects and considering the Ravens draft position and multiple needs, I have come to a few conclusions which I have now attempted to incorporate into my first shot at what I think the Ravens could do in the upcoming draft. So here are my thought for your comments and discussion.
This is a pretty deep draft and like every draft there are drop-offs in talent at different points. This year I think there is a drop at about 25, and then between 26 – 70 the quality is consistently very good, and the next tier from 71 – 120 is still good starter quality. After 120 is when the quality starts thinning considerably, so the chances of finding a decent starter becomes less probable.
The Ravens would need to bundle their #32 (590 points) plus their 2nd round #62 (284 points) to move up to #19 (875 points). That is trading two good starters for one very good starter. Bundling our #1 pick with our 3rd round pick #94 (124 points) would move us up 6 spots to #26 (700 points) and maybe # 25 (720 points).
The Ravens currently have three selections within the top 120. Both of the above scenarios would reduce our draft take to only two of the top 120 players. Given the number of holes we need to plug and depth we need to build, I think moving up would be an unwise move unless a truly top tier guy in a position of need is dropping to where we can move up and get him. In this draft, I just don’t see enough of those type players to have one fall into the 19 – 25 range where we could conceivably make a move.
Since the talent in the 26 – 120 range is deep in positions of need without huge drop off, the better option may be to trade back from #32 and pick up an additional pick in the top 120 . Similar to last year, we would then use our picks in the 4th, 5th and 6th rounds maneuver a bit to get our targeted guys within the top 120.
The Ravens Picks (pre compensatory pick distribution):
#32 (1st Round), #62 (2nd), #94 (3rd), #126 (4th), #158 (5th), #190 (6th), #222 (7th)
Draft Day Trades:
- Trade our 1st #32 (590 pts) to Tennessee for the Titans’ 2nd #40 (500 pts) and 4th #104 (86 pts)
- Trade our 4th #126 (46 pts) and 5th # 158 (29 pts) to Tampa Bay for their 4th #109 (76 pts)
Draft Targets: With those picks the Ravens could target:
- #40 - Eric Reid (FS) – LSU. The best FS in the draft not named Kenny Vaccaro. I love this guy. Big, fast, athletic and physical. Best of all, we can still chant “Reid” when he makes a big play.
- # 62 - Da'Rick Rogers (WR) - Tennessee Tech. Taking a risk on a former Volunteer head case, but one with “the combination of size, strength and explosiveness talent that looks a lot like Julio Jones” (Rob Rang). Because of his issues he realistically could still be on the board when we pick here and I would take a chance on him at #62. If he is gone, then I would go Brandon Williams (DT) - Missouri Southern State. Williams is a solid DT that would give Terrence Cody real competition for his job.
- #94 - Kiko Alonso – Oregon or Jon Bostic - (ILB) Florida – take the best ILB available at this pick. Either can step in and play if McClain is not ready or Ellerbe is gone. Both have enough speed to become 3-down players.
- #104 - Shawn Williams (SS) Georgia - Bernard Pollard version 2.0. Enough said.
- #109 - Zaviar Gooden – Mizzou or Brandon Jenkins (OLB) Florida St – take the best rush OLB available. Both of these are fast and can be utilized as situation pass rushers and ST contributors immediately.
- 4th round Supplemental pick - Montori Hughes (DT) - Tennessee-Martin – another big 6’4”/329 lb run stuffing Nose Tackle to add to the DL rotation.
This draft is obviously very (VERY) defense minded, but then again it has to be because we have lost more defensive starters faster than we can replace them the last two years, and we really need to re-stock. In the 5th/6th/7th we can maybe look at some O-line developmental guys and depth at TE.
So would you be happy with this draft?