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Mayock: Jabrill Peppers is the Ravens ideal match

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Say what?

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

NFL draft expert Mike Mayock connected ten 2017 prospects with ten teams in the lead up to the first round on Thursday. His thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens:

Mayock’s opinion that Peppers would be a strong fit for the Ravens is flawed. First and foremost, Peppers is seen as a late first round talent by most evaluators. He is a man without a clear position in base defense because he does not have the size to play the run as a linebacker or the instincts to cover as a safety. In 27 games for the Michigan Wolverines, Peppers managed to corral just one single interception. He has been overhyped because of his versatility, and because he ran a 4.46 second 40-yard dash and vertical jumped 35.5 inches at the scouting combine.

Selecting a box safety in the first round does not make sense for the Ravens either. Peppers best position is strong safety but Baltimore just signed strong safety Tony Jefferson to a 4-year, $34 million contract. The Ravens infrequently sign young free agents from other teams to large contracts, since Jefferson is only 25-years-old he should be a mainstay on the Ravens defense for years to come.

Furthermore, the Ravens franchise is not in a position to draft a prospect who is blocked from contributing much as a rookie. After an 8-8 season last year, the Ravens are in ‘win now’ mode as they attempt to maximize the talents of their aging veterans before they retire. Setting up a succession plan for future seasons is a luxury the Ravens cannot afford in the first round.

Safety is perhaps the strongest position on the entire Baltimore roster, while the current depth chart chart contains glaring holes at wide receiver, pass rusher and on the offensive line. Mayock fitting Peppers to Baltimore is the classic case of overvaluing the team’s connection to a specific college and propping up one of the pundit’s favorite players. Sorry Mike, pairing Jabrill with the Ravens is dubious at best.