In this latest mock draft, three factors went into play: 1) Best available player, 2) reported Ravens interest and 3) positions of need.
Two positions, however, wound up on the backburner as a result: Tight end and offensive tackle. For tight end, once it was apparent I wouldn't be able to grab a top-level player at the position, it got pushed aside, given two great options are on the roster with Matt Furstenburg being a potential third-stringer. In addition, the Ravens could also sign an undrafted free agent, such as Bowling Green's Alex Bayer, a player the Ravens recently met with.
The reason it took so long to take an offensive tackle was due to an early run that pushed many up the board. Granted this is done using a draft simulator, it does portray the fact that anything can happen on draft day. If a run happens early and certain players are no longer available, you have to adjust. That's just the way it is sometimes.
Once again, I used the FanSpeak simulator, which can be addictive if you're a draft nut.
Anyway, without further ado, here's the latest mock draft:
First round, 17th overall: Alabama ILB C.J. Mosley
Mosley is a quality linebacker and just might be the best player available at 17th overall. In this particular mock draft, the top receivers, tackles and safeties were gone, leaving this to be a decision between Mosley and Justin Gilbert. Mosley offers more given there's a legitimate competition for the starting Will linebacker position. Mosley projects to being a 3-4 weakside inside linebacker, making this a great fit.
Second round, 48th overall: Northern Illinois S Jimmie Ward
There's a chance the Ravens would need to trade up to get Ward, given there are plenty of folks high on the Northern Illinois safety. He offers a lot of range and playmaking ability, with the trait of being able to play both free and strong safety. He's someone the Ravens could potentially covet, considering the top two safeties could be off the board by the time it's their turn to pick in the first round.
Third round, 79th overall: Towson RB Terrance West
The Ravens have made it no secret that they're interested in West, which could set up the potential for the organization to bring in a local hero. West's one-cut style is a perfect fit and the value in the third round would be tremendous. West had a monster season, leading the Tigers to the FCS Championship game.
Third round, 99th overall (compensatory pick): Indiana WR Cody Latimer
Here's a player steadily moving up draft boards everywhere. Latimer is a big 6-3, 215-pound receiver that can man the outside receiver position. He's got great speed for that size, making him an intriguing choice to add to the receiving corps. He's also someone that could wind up being drafted even higher given that his stock continues to rise.
Fourth round, 134th overall (compensatory pick): Princeton DL Caraun Reid
It may be just me, but Reid has the potential to be an Arthur Jones type of player. He's gone a bit under the radar, though he's a smart, heady player with a lot of strength. He plays with great fundamentals and has a strong bull rush. There could be some concern about whether Reid projects to a 3-4, but that's something that can be worked on. Being 6-3, 302 pounds certainly helps, though.
Fourth round, 138th overall (compensatory pick): Wake Forest WR Michael Campanaro
Another receiver? Well, hear me out. Latimer and Campanaro are two different receivers. Latimer is a deep threat down the field on the outside. Campanaro is a slot receiver that could learn behind Steve Smith and rotate in. One trend that's hard not to notice has been the organization's willingness to upgrade on offense. Taking two receivers would give Joe Flacco more options to work with, while creating competition to see which guys best fit Gary Kubiak's offense.
Fifth round, 175th overall (compensatory pick): Missouri DE/OLB Michael Sam
The Ravens have showed plenty of interest in Sam, with the organization one of six teams that have been in touch with him the most. The obvious limitations with Sam are that he doesn't possess ideal straight-line speed and he didn't appear fluid in pass coverage at the combine. All that said, he was a winner at Missouri and can get after the quarterback. His leadership skills are also unquestioned.
Sixth round, 194th overall: Boise State OL Charles Leno
Not able to grab an upper tier tackle early, the Ravens are forced to settle for a project tackle to develop late in this particular mock. That would likely mean the Ravens go with Rick Wagner to open the 2014 season, which would have plenty of risk with it. But Leno was a solid player in college that can play both tackle and guard. At 6-4, 303 pounds, he could be seen as an upgrade size-wise in the interior. He's excellent in pass protection but would need to improve his point of attack in the run game.