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Despite clear need, Ravens should not force wide receiver selection in first round

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CFP National Championship presented by AT&T - Alabama v Georgia Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

With mock draft season in full swing for teams that have missd the playoffs, Ravens fans are seeing wide receivers dominate the team's projection at the 16th spot. Calvin Ridley's name seems to come up again and again, he would without a doubt be worthy of the pick.

However, last year's draft saw three receivers selected inside the top ten picks and Calvin Ridley is more pro ready than all three. Ridley being off the board is a plausible scenario.

If said scenario unfolds, the Ravens should not force the selection of a wide receiver. Even if the alternative receiver offers potential, the Ravens are in a position where they cannot afford two or three years of development for a playmaker to come into his own.

The Ravens could use elite talent at tight end, at linebacker - though the defense's success when using their dime package makes this less of priority - at running back and along the offensive line. Depth at free safety in the form of Eric Weddle's eventual successor would also be of help. Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James represent this option as Ftizpatrick could start at safety (moving Tony Jefferson to dime backer) and James could become the dime backer himself until Weddle retires.

At this point in the draft process, Calvin Ridley appears to be the only receiver worthy of the 16th pick. If a defensive player is selected, the Ravens fanbase should not receive the pick with apathy. Ozzie Newsome will always strive to get the best value and the Ravens are starving for elite talent at every position save cornerback.