The Ravens are currently in line for the top Draft pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. With the season on the ropes, we will begin to turn our attention forward to who the Ravens might be interested in this offseason.
The Ravens have spent a lot of their picks lately on defensive talent, helping make the front-7 one of the best in the game right now. However, with injuries to linebacker Terrell Suggs, the Ravens got a glimpse of what their team will be once Suggs decides to call it a career. Not to be outdone, the secondary has had injuries and poor play plague them for the second season in a row.
Offensively, the Ravens have a solid offensive line that will need some retooling soon to lower it's cap hit and get some younger players involved for the long-term success of the team. By adding players in recent years like Crockett Gillmore, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and even rookies Javorius Allen, Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle; the Ravens have a good core to work with. The issue again comes at the skill position of wide receiver, where they have no playmakers. Some might say that first-round rookie Breshad Perriman has the tools to be that type of player, but with the nagging knee injury suffered during the first day of training camp, I doubt that anyone has confidence in Perriman to be consistently around for the Ravens.
With that, we take a look at Todd McShay's big board and choose some players from the top-10 that the Ravens could have serious interest in.
Bosa has played lights-out since Big Ten play started, with 8.5 tackles for loss in four conference games. That gives him 45.5 TFLs in his 34 career games at Ohio State. He shows a consistent ability to convert speed to power and uses a wide array of pass-rush moves -- swim, rip, club, spin. With experience playing DE on both sides and moving inside to DT on obvious pass downs, Bosa brings a lot of scheme versatility to the table.
The two best wide receivers Hargreaves and Florida faced this season -- Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell (No. 12 on this list) and LSU's Travin Dural -- barely broke 100 yards receiving collectively. With three interceptions in his first six games of 2015, it's clear Hargreaves is an upper-echelon talent. He lacks ideal size (5-11, 199), but he has the instincts and aggressiveness to develop into a good outside starting cornerback in the NFL. Hargreaves does a good job in press-man coverage, consistently redirecting wide receivers.
Ramsey has done it all for Florida State this season. He leads the team with eight passes defensed, and showed his big-time playmaking ability in back-to-back weeks earlier this season, registering three disrupted dropbacks against South Florida and then scoring a defensive touchdown off a fumble recovery vs. Boston College. Ramsey plays as a hybrid safety/corner role in Florida State's scheme, frequently lining up over the slot. In the NFL, he projects best as a safety because he's fast enough to play in center field or the slot and savvy enough to be a force against the run.
Coming off a broken fibula and seven-game NCAA suspension, Tunsil made his much-anticipated 2015 debut last Saturday against Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, who entered the game with 8.5 sacks in four games. Tunsil waisted no time reminding everyone of his potential, as he hardly allowed Garrett near QB Chad Kelly. The left tackle has great range as a run-blocker, and he projects best in a zone-blocking-heavy scheme because of his mobility.
Smith has been one of the most disruptive outside linebackers in the country, compiling 6.0 TFLs in seven games. It has served as further proof that he has the ability to affect the game on every snap. He is a far more disruptive pass-rusher than the numbers suggest (just 4.5 sacks in 33 college games), has excellent cover skills and plays sideline-to-sideline as a run defender.
Stanley's play is a big reason Notre Dame ranks 15th in the FBS in rushing yards per game (234.6) and seventh in yards per carry (5.95). The senior has the prototypical frame, length and athleticism for a left tackle prospect. And while he needs to be crisper in terms of technique, he's an effective run-blocker and he doesn't lose many one-on-one matchups in pass protection.
Buckner has had a busy start to his Pac-12 season, compiling 5.0 TFLs (including 3.5 sacks) in four conference games. It was a welcome sight after he was held mostly in check by Michigan State OT Jack Conklin (No. 13 on this list). Buckner uses his explosive upper-body power to jar blockers and push the pocket, while his height (6-7) and length come in handy when trying to bat down passes. When he plays with leverage, he's tough to stop.
As you can see with McShay's board, a majority of his top-10 are the big boys and cornerbacks. With the difficulty the Ravens have had in the secondary for the second straight year, I wouldn't be surprised to see them target a corner early in the draft. If they do get the top pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, a trade down into the top-10 wouldn't be shocking, where they can still get a great talent and maybe pick up a bunch of early round picks to go with it.