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Raven first round pick: Pass Rusher or CB?

Alabama v USC Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

For the Ravens, the secondary and the pass rush have been identified by most as the positions in most need of new blood. Luck shines on the Ravens in this case, as in a year where the Ravens need immediate help, both cornerbacks and pass rushers have stacked classes for the 2017 NFL Draft. Three of the five executives polled by Daniel Jeremiah called this the cornerback class, in particular the deepest in the draft.

The secondary issues have plagued the Ravens since 2011. This year’s class presents the ultimate opportunity to fix the problem for the next 5 seasons. However, first round pass-rushers are a much safer bet to produce consistently. Bleacher Report's EDGE extraordinaire’s tweet below reflects this. If the Ravens want to find the heir apparent to Terrell Suggs, the 16th pick presents the most likely solution.

With that in mind, I would expect the Ravens to address the pass rush first. Tim Williams and Carl Lawson compare to Bruce Irvin and Melvin Ingram respectively. Irvin has not developed into a pure pass rusher, likely due to him never finding the right scheme but Ingram has become one of the league's brightest up-and-comers.

The depth at cornerback ensures the Ravens will have options capable of starting, even if the latter lack superstar potential, in the second and third rounds in players like West Virginia's Rasual Douglas, Tennessee's Cam Sutton, Clemson’s Cordea Tankersley and maybe even Ohio State's Gareon Conley. With a class this deep at corner, general manager Ozzie Newsome would be best suited to wait until the second round, while selecting a pass rusher in the fourth.

The Ravens need to find a young pass rusher to replace Terrell Suggs. If the Ravens don’t make that investment this year, when will they?