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Ravens News 4/5: 7-round mock, McCoy’s strengths and more

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NCAA Football: UCLA at Texas A&M Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens 7-round mock draft: A guess three weeks before the real thing - Aaron Kasinitz

1st round (22nd overall): Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M

3rd round (85th overall): J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford

3rd round (102nd overall): Justin Hollins, EDGE, Oregon

4th round (113th overall): Wyatt Ray, EDGE, Boston College

4th round (123rd overall): Darius Slayton, WR, Auburn

5th round (160th overall): Karan Higdon, RB, Michigan

6th round (191st overall): Sheldrick Redwine, S, Miami

6th round (193rd overall): Byron Cowart, EDGE, Maryland

Byron Cowart is an interesting late round prospect. The former five-star recruit has the measurables to play 5-technique, which is an underrated need for Baltimore.

Film preparation, technique driving Texas A&M center Erik McCoy’s success - Austin Gayle

A high-floor pass-protecting offensive lineman and three-year starter at center for Texas A&M, Erik McCoy is easy to fall in love with in this class. The 6-foot-4, 303-pounder has earned 72.6-plus pass-blocking grades all three years of his collegiate career, and he earned a career-high run-blocking grade (71.4) this past season.

McCoy said his pre-snap process is exhaustive. He first looks at the defensive linemen ahead of him to see which hand he has in the ground to know which way he’ll be stepping first. He then looks to the second level to see if any of the off-ball linebackers are “giving anything away” or tipping blitzes, stunts, etc. Finally, now just a few seconds before the play starts, he communicates what he sees to the rest of the offensive line in an effort to put his four teammates in the trenches in the best positions to succeed.

That’s the smart, communicating center teams are falling for in this pre-draft process.

McCoy has been linked to the Ravens in recent weeks. Pairing young bookend tackles Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr. with a stalwart center should make the blocking unit a long-term strength.

Don’t sleep on Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown, a first-round player - Gordon McGuinness

On our latest PFF Big Board, Brown ranks as the 20th-best player available in the 2019 NFL Draft, just behind Metcalf at number 17.

Brown tied for 17th in the nation with 17 missed tackles forced on 84 receptions in 2018, and when you watch him play, it’s easy to see why. He might not be a burner, but he runs with such power that he is tough to bring down once he builds up a head of steam.

In three years at Ole Miss, Brown forced 50 missed tackles on 188 receptions, and it was that ability to run through tackles and cut away from players that helped him reach such lofty yardage totals.

The other major plus for Brown is how good he has been at holding onto the ball throughout his college career. He dropped just five of the 89 catchable passes thrown his way in 2018, and he averaged a drop once every 14.4 catchable targets throughout his college career.

As we have seen, Brown is a great fit as a slot receiver in the NFL — and we know that’s very valuable in today’s NFL — but this past season, he was also able to showcase his ability to win on the outside in Metcalf’s absence.

A.J. Brown has emerged as a bit of a Ravens fan favorite. He arguably possesses the highest floor of any receiver in this draft class.