We are just four days, four short days, away from the 2017 NFL Draft. An exciting time and another step to the beginning of the 2017 NFL season. From Thursday to Saturday, many prospects will live out their dream, and be drafted to play in the NFL.
Speaking of dreams, all 32 NFL teams are heading to Thursday with eyes set on their dream set of new players as well. The Baltimore Ravens, after just falling short of the playoffs last season, are without question looking for the perfect draft to turn a team that just missed the postseason, into a team that can play deep into January.
ESPN NFL writer Dan Graziano decided to analyze and pick each teams dream draft scenario entering Thursday night's big event in Philadelphia. His scenario for the Ravens might not be popular among fans. Graziano wrote that the Ravens dream scenario is getting their pick of offensive linemen. Graziano stated:
"Boring, I know, and this isn't the greatest offensive line class. But there are a couple of guys who look like first-rounders, and Baltimore could stand to come away with one. Is that Cam Robinson as a Rick Wagner replacement? Is it Forrest Lamp as an immediate starter at guard? GM Ozzie Newsome will know better than I do. And while neither Ozzie nor anyone else knows exactly how Joe Flacco pulled off that postseason magic trick of his five years ago, we know the best chance of repeating it is to keep Joe on his feet."
Yes, this would be a pretty boring pick, but that's always been the quota for picking offensive linemen in the early rounds. Just look at Ronnie Stanley a year ago. A lot of people were underwhelmed with the pick, but Stanley quickly became a staple on that line, and hopefully, looks to be the franchise left tackle for years to come. Baltimore does need to address the offensive line after losing Rick Wagner, and Robinson, Lamp, or Ryan Ramczyk could help the offensive line nicely.
One of the reasons the team has missed the playoffs three of the last four years has been due to the ineffectiveness of the offensive line. Some blamed Juan Castillo, but with him now in Buffalo, that scapegoat is off the table. With young pieces like Stanley and Alex Lewis on board, along with veteran Marshal Yanda, the team could use another young piece to build a core on the offensive line to protect Joe Flacco and create lanes for what hopes to be a revamped rushing attack.
That being said, this is far from the Ravens and Ozzie Newsome's dream scenario for the draft. The team needs linemen, but they might be far from the "best player available" motto Ozzie has followed for years. Guys like Corey Davis, Mike Williams, Derek Barnett, and Rueben Foster might fit that mantra more than any linemen in Newsome's mind. Also, drafting a receiver, pass-rusher, or linebacker with playmaking abilities might benefit more for Baltimore when it comes to this draft and for this upcoming season.
Lastly, regarding the last part of Graziano's statement, Flacco did throw what should've been the game-winning touchdown pass that was dropped by Lee Evans in the 2011 AFC Championship game. So, it's not like his run in 2012 was completely out of nowhere, and he showed he could lead the team to the Super Bowl the year before. That pass might as well have had a ticket to Super Bowl XLVI attached to it. But hey, what are you going to do?
What would be your dream draft scenario for the Ravens?