This is the seventh edition of my seven round (technically six, the Ravens don’t have a seventh round pick) mock drafts for the Ravens. This is the first since the Ravens moved up in the sixth round with their Jeremy Zuttah trade. I used Fanspeak.com’s mock draft simulator to complete this seven round mock draft. Free agent signings and departures have influenced what needs the Ravens have and how they should be prioritized. Expect to see changes in this mock draft compared to previous ones, well, except for my first round selection.
First Round: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Davis is the best receiver in this year’s draft class, and should be the Ravens number one draft priority. Unless Marshon Lattimore somehow slips to the Ravens, I’m not sure their is a cornerback who warrants the 16th overall pick, and the Ravens just signed Brandon Carr; They can now afford to wait on a corner. In the simulation, Derek Barnett was also available with this pick (three quarterbacks went in the top 15), but I chose to go with Davis over the Tennessee pass rusher. Receiver is a bigger need in my eyes. With Steve Smith Sr. and Kamar Aiken officially both gone, the Ravens will need a true number one receiver. Davis received comparisons of Terrell Owens on NFL Network’s ‘Path to the Draft’ show. Davis is the best route runner in this class, has the ability to make tough catches (like this touchdown catch), and he has the speed to take it to house once the ball is in his hands, as shown below (skip to 2:52 in the video).
Davis is the true number one threat that the Ravens offense desperately lacks. Between his size, speed and playmaking ability Davis would be incredibly hard to pass up if available at the 16th overall selection.
Second Round: Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri
I’ll admit, this seems a little unrealistic. The Missouri outside linebacker is regarded by many to be a late first round pick, I was surprised he was still available when the Ravens came back on the clock for its second selection. The Ravens really need a young pass rusher, and if a first round caliber pass rusher is able to fall to the second round, expect to see both myself and Ozzie Newsome sprinting towards the podium to make the selection. Lance Zierlein wrote the following regarding Harris’ strengths”
While Harris may not be as hyped or talented as Barnett or Taco Charlton, the Missouri linebacker’s production in college is impressive as he faces top caliber offensive lines in the SEC nearly every week. Harris in the second round is an unbelievable value for the Ravens.
Third Round: Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
Johnson has seen his stock slip dramatically as he was once regarded as one of the top two tackles in this year’s class before the 2016 season, to now a third round pick. Johnson is very talented, as shown by being named to the ACC First Team two times. The biggest knock on Johnson, and what has caused the fall in his stock, has been body control. Johnson has a huge frame (6’7” 298 pounds) and he has 36 inch long arms, but he has struggled to be in control of all of it. Johnson has played on the left side of the line his entire career, but will move to the right in Baltimore. This may allow some of his lacking body control to be masked, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t a concern. All in all, the Ravens large need a right tackle, and a player with Johnson’s potential, if he can solve the current concerns, is hard to pass up.
Third Round: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
This may prove to be the biggest steal of the entire draft. With Brandon Carr in Baltimore through at least the 2017 season, the Ravens can afford to take a cornerback prospect that won’t need to start in Week 1. Sidney Jones was regarded as one of the top three corners in this year’s class before suffering a torn Achilles at his pro day. Despite tweeting that he will play in his rookie season, scouts are likely to assume that he will miss it entirely. Given his elite talent, this is about the range I could see Jones coming off the board. The Ravens would be thrilled to land three first round talents in its first four picks.
Fourth Round: Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
While I would have preferred to get Ethan Pocic from LSU at the center position, Elflein is not a bad alternative at all. Elflein has an incredible football IQ, and he knows how to win, having played in the College Football Playoff twice in his career as a Buckeye. Elflein comes with outstanding college accolades, having been a three time first-team All-Big Ten selection, and once having been selected as a first-team All-American. Scouts rave about his reliable blocking in the middle of the offensive line. However, if needed, Elflein has experience playing guard on both the right and left sides of the line. Having been a high school wrestler, Elflein is excellent in using his hands against defenders. The biggest knock of the Ohio State center is his footwork. Elflein will be the favorite to win the starting center job.
Fifth Round: Howard Wilson, CB, Houston
In this mock draft, Sidney Jones was drafted as the long term solution at the cornerback position, but the Ravens will need to add depth to the secondary for the present. Houston cornerback Howard Wilson can provide immediate impact for the Ravens. Wilson had an incredible knack for creating turnovers during his tenure with Houston. According to Howard Wilson’s draft profile on NFL.com, Wilson, “averaged an interception every 15 targets despite just one year as a full-time starter.” Howard has good size (6’1”) and decent speed (4.57 40 yard dash), but will need to improve his technique. Luckily, Wilson will not be thrust into a starting role, and will be granted time to develop.
Sixth Round: Jayon Brown, LB, UCLA
The Ravens will be searching for an inside linebacker to replace Zach Orr, and after having moved up in the sixth round following the trade of Jeremy Zuttah, the Ravens will have a chance to draft Jayon Brown, a player that had not been falling to the Ravens in simulations at the team’s original pick. The UCLA linebacker had incredible production, 93 tackles in 2015 and 119 in 2016. He also has good speed and good coverage skills (15 passes defended and three interceptions in his career). So why is Brown only regarded as sixth round pick? His size and his strength. Brown stands at just 6 feet tall and weights 231 pounds, that is smaller than Leonard Fournette. Imagine a linebacker with this size trying to bring down a bigger back in the NFL. In addition, Brown was often easily blocked by offensive lineman and tight ends alike. Brown never forced a fumble in college. The production, outside of fumbles, is clearly there, but Brown will need to hit the weight room in the NFL. Brown is worth a late round pick because if he has college production to show he can overcome his height. He will compete for the starting job, but is unlikely to win it in his rookie season.
The Draft is just over a month away! A lot could change, however, in these next few weeks, just look at what happened to Sidney Jones at his pro day. Make sure to stay tuned to Baltimore Beatdown for all of the latest Ravens draft news and mock drafts.