The Baltimore Ravens just completed an 11 loss season which ended with the team holding the 6th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. With the talent sitting atop the draft, the process will still have to play out for us to know who will fall to the Ravens at that draft slot. Some players will move up, others will slide down.
With difference makers such as offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and defensive lineman Joey Bosa near locks to go in the top 3, and quarterbacks such as Jared Goff and Paxton Lynch not a need for the Ravens, they likely will have to see if a player at a position of need, like defensive backs Jalen Ramsey or Vernon Hargreaves will slide to them, or a player will move up the board at another position of need, like offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, or an outside linebacker like Clemson's Shaq Lawson.
There is an option though, that may appeal even more to Ozzie and the Ravens: trading down and accumulating picks. With needs at OT, OLB, WR, CB, ILB and FS, the team could be happy to move down in the round and pick up an additional premium pick in round 2 or 3. And for that, the Ravens were fortuitous that the San Francisco 49ers won in week 17.
The San Francisco 49ers’ overtime victory over the St. Louis Rams in Week 17 helped the Ravens move up one draft spot in the first round. They’ll pick sixth, while the 49ers will be seventh. That might not seem like a big deal, but it could become one on draft night.
The order could open up trade opportunities for Newsome, who is never hesitant to wheel and deal during the draft. It’s early in the process, but there are two quarterbacks, Memphis’ Paxton Lynch and California’s Jared Goff, projected to go early in the first round. And among the teams picking in the top 10, the Cleveland Browns (second overall) and 49ers both need quarterbacks. So the teams drafting later in the first round that are also interested in a quarterback — say, the Houston Texans and St. Louis Rams — probably would need to get in front of the 49ers for a shot at Lynch or Goff.
The Houston Texans and St. Louis Rams both boast talented defenses, are lacking at the most important position on the field: Quarterback. The Texans may be picking too low at 22nd, but the Rams at 15th, the Philadelphia Eagles at 13th and the New Orleans Saints at 12th all could be interested in moving up for a quarterback. The chances of either Goff or Lynch slipping to the Ravens pick at 6 are high, with only the Browns at 2 and possibly the Cowboys at 4 needing quarterbacks, barring a trade down.
There is still much time for this to play out, but a trade down would likely put the Ravens in the perfect range to grab one of the top outside linebackers in the draft, or possibly the top cornerback after Hargraeves and Ramsey. We all know Ozzie is dangerous with more picks, so the more picks the better!