Last week, I published my second full first round mock draft for 2018, and now, I’m putting out my first Ravens seven round mock draft. Last year, the Ravens invested heavily on the defense, but it has cost them as the offense seriously lacks talent. The defense has been banged up, but won’t need a ton of work heading into next season. The offense, on the other hand, is in desperate need of attention. In this mock draft, Joe Flacco and the offense are finally given the young talent they crave.
First Round: Connor Williams, OT, Texas
I had Williams going to the Ravens in my mock draft last week, and I’m sticking to it in this seven round mock. As I wrote last week, Williams is my top offensive lineman, despite his injury. To me, Williams is a better fit for the Ravens. Mike McGlinchey, the other top offensive lineman, struggles at times when run blocking, but Williams is a much better all around player. In addition, Williams also shows more of the fierce offensive line play that the Ravens like. Williams plays through the whistle, and it isn’t uncommon to see the defender he is blocking end up on the ground. From what’ve seen, Williams is a true technician when blocking, and has drawn comparisons to Joe Thomas. Williams will need to transition to right tackle, but I believe he has the ability to do so.
Second Round: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR Notre Dame
St. Brown has first round potential, but I see him getting pushed out due to the talent in front of him. St. Brown’s numbers are not eye popping this year, but both his measurables and film show a receiver capable of being productive in the NFL. First, St. Brown is 6’4”, and he knows how to use his body. He can be found on fade routes into the end zone, and he is often able to make these plays due to his reliable hands. On top of this, St. Brown is an excellent route runner, and he has really good athletic ability for his size. St. Brown brings traits that the Ravens receiving corps just doesn’t have right now.
Third Round: Cameron Smith, LB, USC
The biggest downfall defensively for the Ravens this year has been defending the run. Kamalei Correa and Patrick Onwuasor fought for a starting job at inside linebacker during the preseason, however neither has done enough to solidify themselves as the long term answer at the position. Cameron Smith would add competition for that spot. Smith is a tackling machine, already with 72 total tackles this season, and he has 233 in his career. The Ravens need reinforcements in run defense, and Smith could provide that.
Fourth Round: Jake Browning, QB, Washington
Joe Flacco, is, yet again, not off to a great start. Due to his contract, the Ravens are stuck with Flacco for the short term, but there will be no better draft than this one to select Flacco’s heir. Browning has some obvious flaws, notably lacking high end arm strength. However, he has potential as a starter in the NFL. Browning is off to a great start in 2017, already having thrown for 1,605 yards, and doing so with a 68.5 completion percentage. Accuracy may be Browning’s best trait, a trait that would be valued in Baltimore considering how much Flacco has struggled in that area of late. Playing in the Pac-12 North, Browning has had to deal with his fair share of poor weather, and he has performed well in those scenarios. This is important for a quarterback in the AFC North. Better yet, Browning brings some mobility. He is a significantly better athlete than Flacco. Browning is not ready to be a starter in the NFL right now, but he won’t have to be. The Ravens will get the chance to groom Browning into an NFL ready quaterback when the time comes for him to take over for Flacco.
Fifth Round: John Kelly, RB, Tennessee
Quietly, Kelly has emerged as one of the nation’s better skill players. In 2017, taking over at running back from Alvin Kamara, Kelley has 615 yards on 125 carries (4.9 yards per carry) and six touchdowns. Kelly also has 255 receiving yards on 26 catches. The Volunteer’s best performance of the year came in a 237 total yards effort against Florida. Kelly is an all-purpose back, that can make a big play whenever he touches the ball. He reminds me a bit of Darren Sproles. The Ravens have been searching for an explosive, pass catching back. Here he is.
Kelly will not be a bell cow back, but I’m willing to give another chance to Kenneth Dixon before trying to find a new top back.
Sixth Round: Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
Callaway has more red flags than any other player in this draft. He has not played yet this season due to suspensions, and comes with all kinds of major off-the-field concerns. But in the sixth round, I can’t pass on Callaway’s ability. On talent alone, he is a first round pick, but there are obvious concern about his behavior. The Ravens are desperate for talent on offense, and Callaway surely presents that. This is a risk I think the Ravens would be smart to take, especially since it is the sixth round.
Seventh Round: Brian Allen, C/G, Michigan State
This year has proved that the Ravens need more depth on the interior of their offensive line. Allen provides that. The Spartan can play both guard and center, giving the Ravens versatility on the bench. Allen doesn’t boast great size, but does have good technique.