The first round of the 2018 NFL draft will commence on Thursday, April 26th from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Baltimore Ravens currently own the 16th, 52nd, 83rd, 118th, 154th, 190th 215th and 238th selections. Longtime general manager Ozzie Newsome is aiming to add playmakers that will improve the team’s 29th ranked passing offense in his final draft at the helm.
Which first round prospects are being linked to the Ravens?
CALVIN RIDLEY WR ALABAMA. If this is in fact Ozzie Newsome’s last year running the Ravens’ draft, the best Alabama receiver since Amari Cooper is a strong bet to come off the board at No. 16. I know the Ravens added Michael Crabtree. I don’t think they’re done with improving the strength of the position. - Peter Schrager
KOLTON MILLER OT UCLA. With the Ravens adding enough talent at WR in free agency to pass on that position in the first round, GM Ozzie Newsome grabs a tackle for the right side of the line. - Lance Zierlein
Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama. The Ravens are taking the best player available in this scenario, and it happens to be a defensive player from Alabama. When have we seen that before?
I think Baltimore would have a very difficult time passing on Da’Ron Payne if he fell to them. Brandon Williams is a talented presence in the interior, but he’ll be a 30-year-old due $9.25 million next offseason. For a team with cap issues, the Ravens may find it difficult keeping him, so Payne could supplant Williams in 2019 and beyond. - Walter Cherepinsky
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama. Baltimore signed John Brown and Michael Crabtree, but their wide receiver depth chart is still ugly -- especially considering Brown’s incessant injury issues. Flooding the market at one position in hopes of hitting big once or twice worked for the Eagles last year, and it could work for the Ravens as well. Ridley didn’t test all that well at the combine, but he was incredibly successful at Alabama and could step in and produce right away for an offense that needs so much help at such an important position. - Jared Dubin
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech. The Ravens get a great value here in Edmunds, who doesn’t turn 20 until after the draft and has as much upside as any prospect this year. He’s scheme versatile and should be an interesting chess piece for the Ravens’ defense, someone who can line up next to C.J. Mosley inside or potentially be groomed to take over for Terrell Suggs down the road. - R.J. White
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama. Here’s one that seems to show up in every mock draft I do. Calvin Ridley makes too much sense for the Baltimore Ravens. Even if you ignore the obvious Alabama connections to general manager and Crimson Tide alum Ozzie Newsome, Ridley still fills the team’s most obvious need: receiver.
Even after adding veteran Michael Crabtree and the explosive but oft-injured John Brown, the Ravens’ wide receiver depth chart is bare and lacking in long-term answers. Ridley’s smooth route running and natural ability as a catcher will make him a perfect possession-style receiver to pair with Brown’s deep speed in the short to intermediate game. - Matt Miller
Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA. Ozzie Newsome can’t resist this raw, 6-foot-6, 264-pound edge rusher, with Terrell Suggs turning 36 in October. - Steve Serby
Connor Williams, OT, Texas. The Ravens need to give Joe Flacco help, likely in the form of a playmaking receiver and/or tight end. They need to give him more help up front, though, too. - Sam Farmer
Marcus Davenport, OLB, Texas-San Antonio. The Ravens will be thinking about wide receiver and offensive line with this pick, but like the Packers, they could use some rebooting in their 3-4 with Wink Martindale taking over the scheme and Terrell Suggs turning 36 in October. Davenport can turn into a Suggs-like dynamo while learning from the veteran in a situational role at first. - Vinnie Iyer
Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State. The Ravens need wide receivers that is no secret. But they also need tight ends and in this case, they get the best of both worlds in Gesicki. He can play inside or out, and he posted some of the most impressive numbers ever recorded at the combine. Think Jimmy Graham 2.0. - Jake Burns