clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2016 NFL Draft: Is Jalen Ramsey the Ravens best option with the 4th overall pick?

New, comments

With the Ravens sitting at 4-8, they clearly have not had the type of season that fans or the organization was expecting. Since every game so far has come down to a single score difference, it is the small things that have kept the Ravens out of the win column for the first time in a long time. On the other hand, they're due for a historically high draft pick. So yay?

Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

With the Ravens sitting at 4-8, they clearly have not had the type of season that fans or the organization was expecting. Since every game so far has come down to a single score difference, it is the small things that have kept the Ravens out of the win column for the first time in a long time.

On the other hand, they're due for a historically high draft pick. So yay?

Realistically, the Ravens are due for a draft pick in the single-digit range  (currently #4 overall), which is good territory:  the last two players the Ravens have taken in that area of the draft (and it was a while ago) were Haloti Ngata (10th overall) and Terrell Suggs (8th overall), both long before the John Harbaugh Era.  Go back even further and it's Jamal Lewis, Duane Starcks, Peter Boulware, and Jonathan Ogden.  The worst of those, Starks, was still a decent starter for a while.

Notice the other pattern there: they're mostly defensive players. Jamal Lewis was, in so many ways, an outlier--both in terms of his play style and his placement.

But let's be honest for a moment here, we don't want an offensive player.  Defense has been the franchise calling card for two decades.  Our most recent foray into first-round offensive players--the Probably Fictional Perriman--has yet to hit the field.  There are a few realistic candidates for us to pick with that theoretical #4 pick:

Joey Bosa DE/OLB- If he's still there.  Bosa is slightly undersized, but outworks the people across from him to spectacular result.  (Does the undersized but works theme remind you of anyone?) This has been true with few exceptions, no matter the opponent.  He is also at a position of upcoming need: both Suggs and Dumervil are getting up there in years, and while they have a high ceiling, there's also a low floor (see: this year.)

My big pick, though:

Jalen Ramsey S/CB:  He has collected accolades on every level he's played, and is renowned for his preparation.  (Again, does this remind you of any safety we've had in the past?)  He's a track star, in addition to a football player, and has a 10.5 time in the 100 meter dash.  That's low 4's when taken down to the 40 meters.  So: he has the speed to cover the field, decent hands, and a willingness to learn.  Let's fix the back end of the defense, please.