2014 updated mock draft: Ravens take Cyrus Kouandjio in the first round

Mocking the Draft has the Ravens taking Cyrus Kouandjio in the first round. - Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

Then then follow the Kouandjio pick with Jimmie Ward and Cody Hoffman.

SB Nation's Mocking the Draft released its three-round mock Monday morning, which comes shortly after the end of the NFL season.

The Ravens positions of need include receiver, offensive line, tight end and free safety, which are positions the Mocking the Draft folks have Baltimore addressing.

Here's a look at the players they have the Ravens selecting at this time:

First round (16th or 17th pick): OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

The reason: "Both of Baltimore's starting offensive tackles – Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher – are free agents. At this point in their careers, Kouandjio is better than both of them. He's a high-upside blocker who likes to get physical and maul defensive linemen. In other words, a perfect fit in the AFC North."

My take: I'm not sure if I'd agree that Kouandjio is better than Monroe at this stage, but in terms of potential, he probably has a lot more to offer than Oher. If the Ravens decide to take a tackle early, it would ensure Kelechi Osemele stays at left guard. That's one reason why I don't think the Ravens take a tackle this early, because Osemele is more of a natural tackle than a guard.

Players I'd pick over Kouandjio, if available and in order: TE Eric Ebron (UNC), S Calvin Pryor (Louisville), WR Mike Evans (Texas A&M).

Second round (48th pick): S Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois

The reason: "If there is a safety teams will look at and think of Earl Thomas, it's Ward. Being a rangy safety may be codeword for undersized, Ward would pair nicely with Matt Elam."

My take: Ward's been a fast-riser with a lot of the draft experts, and for good reason. He has great instincts and can cover a lot of ground. His only issue is size at 5-11, 191 pounds, but that's often an overrated aspect in football. If a prospect can play, you bring him on your team. Ward appears to be that kind of guy.

Players I'd pick over Ward if available and in order: OG David Yankey (Stanford), WR Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt).

Third round (79th pick): WR Cody Hoffman

The reason: "There isn't a lot of dynamism to Hoffman's game. He's just a dependable possession receiver who can be an asset in the red zone."

My take: Hoffman does fit the bill as a slot guy with dependable hands that can pick up first downs. But you'd have to think the Ravens would want to target some of the more explosive options in the first couple of rounds. Then again, if they grab someone in free agency, then they could afford to wait until the mid-level rounds to draft a wideout.

Players I'd pick over Hoffman if available and in order: RB Tre Mason (Auburn), RB/WR De'Anthony Thomas (Oregon), OT Billy Turner (North Dakota State), RB Carlos Hyde (Ohio State).


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