There is good news and bad news for Ravens fans in Mel Kiper's most recent Mock Draft on ESPN.com.
The bad news is that fan fave Jalen Ramsey, the versatile DB from Florida State University, is going in the 5th pick to Jacksonville. This is the very thing that people are predicting can happen and the very thing I offered hope that the history of Jacksonville's coach suggests might not happen.
The good news? Ohio State University DE Joey Bosa drops to the Ravens at the 6th slot.
There is hypothetical celebration in Charm City.
Bosa is seen by a large number of draft prognosticators as the top pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. For him to drop to the Ravens, and the Ravens not have to trade up for him, would be some sort of miracle, many agree.
Kiper sees it differently.
"Need matters, but in many cases, it will also be something that changes between now and the end of April," Kiper wrote. "...teams are about to set off addressing needs in free agency, going after experienced players with actual NFL track records. "
Kiper is touting the Ravens Way of Drafting (should there be a Trademark symbol here?)--best player available. " ..The free-agency process...does allow teams to target needs [there] and make the draft more about taking the best player at every turn -- which is how evaluators prefer to approach things."
All of this to say, teams drafting before the Ravens take some unexpected picks, including two Quarterbacks, Ole Miss OT Larry Tunsil going first overall, and the San Diego Chargers choosing DE DeForest Buckner from Oregon over Bosa. That leaves the Ravens with a no-brainer, Kiper mentions.
"At this point, a team that has multiple needs will find it hard to pass on Bosa, who is the best player on the board here. He comes in with the ability to immediately upgrade the pass rush, and unlike many rookies who can get after the passer, Bosa is also a dynamic run defender."
With the many twists and turns that draft logic takes in the months before the actual event, this is one that is sure to be received favorably in Baltimore.
Mel Kiper's Mock Draft 2.0 is as follows. One asterisk is for underclassmen, Two is for underclassmen with two years of eligibility left.
New England has no first round pick this season, due to forfeit. Reparations here.