We are only 40 days away from the first round of the NFL draft in New York. The mock drafts are flying around the web, so let's take a look at who everyone thinks the Ravens are going to grab with the 17th pick.
National Footbal Post - Jace Amaro - Tight End
National Football Post has the Ravens selecting Texas Tech tight end, Jace Amaro. Their reasoning is that it is a need based pick and that while Amaro didn't have the best combine, he did look great at his pro day and has excellent tape.
Personally, this is a reach pick at this spot and noticing that only one quarterback has been chosen by that point leads to a lot of the normal choices being off the board. Amaro is expected to be a low first round pick or could even slip into the third round if runs happen on other positions first. With Offensive Tackle Zach Martin on the board, I would figure we would head there before reaching for Amaro.
Walter Football - Calvin Pryor - Safety
Walter Football has a surprising pick in their own right by having the Ravens select Louisville Safety Calvin Pryor. Pryor grades out more as a hard hitting Strong Safety that likes to come up in run support in a similar mold to former Raven Bernard Pollard. While having a hard hitting enforcer on the team is always a good thing, after selecting Matt Elam in last year's draft, that need appears to already be filled.
Walter Football's reasoning for the selection is that Pryor is just too good of a talent to let go any further and that the signing of Darian Stewart makes a dire situation at the Free Safety position. Those points are only half truths as Pryor just doesn't fit the mold of a free safety we are looking to have. James Ihedigbo signing a decent contract this offseason as a prized Safety option should quiet the idea that Stewart is terrible as we all trust General Manager Ozzie Newsome to find the right player for our team, even if they hadn't been successful previously.
Sports Illustrated - Taylor Lewan - Offensive Tackle
Sports Illustrated comes through with a good pick for the Ravens, though it seems to come at the idea of 3 quarterbacks taken in the top 8 picks. At 6-foot-7 and 309-pounds with great agility and speed, he seem like the perfect fit for the Ravens' zone blocking scheme. If Lewan falls to the Ravens at the 17th pick, no doubt that they would have the pick in the second they get on the clock, but it seems like a pick that is just too good to be true.
NFL - Calvin Pryor - Safety
The NFL experts have multiple picks but I went with whoever was chosen the most. Pryor was the only player picked twice. As I've covered earlier, Pryor just doesn't seem to fit what we are looking for in a Free Safety. Several experts have players like Zack Martin and Eric Ebron going either to the Ravens or later in the first round to other teams like the Dolphins. If either of those players are available, I have to imagine that the Ravens would skip over Pryor.
CBS - No Consensus
CBS' experts also had multiple picks but unlike the NFL, each expert chose a different player for the Ravens. Ranging from Alabama Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to Louisville Safety Calvin Pryor and Texas A&M Wide Receiver Mike Evans.
When looking over the various mock drafts online currently, the Ravens would be best suited if several top 10 teams take a quarterback. There are several players that the Ravens would love to have that could be available if even 2 quarterbacks are taken before the Ravens select. One thing that we know from previous experience is that the Ravens will very rarely reach to get a player and in the few instances that it has happened, the Ravens have proven to have made the right decision.
In most of the mock drafts I saw, players like Zach Martin, Eric Ebron and even Mike Evans slide behind the Ravens and seem as though they would be much better fits than who was selected. The Ravens are also known for trading down in the first round if talent falls to them that they feel they could get a few spots below their normal selection. Look for the Ravens to get a great player at a great spot regardless of where they choose and who they get.
Who you think the Ravens pick in the first round?