There is always a lot of speculation leading up to the NFL draft every year. This year is no different especially with the Ravens pick at number 17.
The Ravens are famous for their success on Draft day. Considering their first draft picks in franchise history were two hall of famers, Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis respectively, the Ravens have earned the respect of recognizing college talent that transfers over into the professional realm. Their success is largely due to their General Manager Ozzie Newsome. His best player available approach has been copied by many teams over the years. Many teams will sacrifice talent in order to fill a position of need but the ravens will surprise by taking the best player that is available when they are on the clock.
While you won’t see the Ravens taking Johnny Football or Teddy Bridgewater, there are other players that have been linked to the Ravens at number 17. Below are a few options that I feel could be drafted by the Ravens on draft day.
1. While the Ravens have filled their holes via free agency so there are no glaring positional needs, an athletic safety could be an attractive option. Louisville’s safety Calvin Pryor is a strong, fast, and physical safety that could be targeted. Perhaps the more pro-ready and more highly regarded Safety Ha Ha Clinton Dix out of Alabama could also be a great fit with the Ravens, especially considering Newsome loves his Alabama players.
2. Another way to go would be the right tackle spot on the offensive line. While the Ravens were able to lock up Eugene Monroe on the left side, but Michael Oher left via free agency. If tackle Taylor Lewan out of Michigan is available to the Ravens I do not see them able to pass up on the athletic young man. A more realistic option at tackle would be either Zach Martin out of Notre Dame or Cyrus Kouandjio although Martin doesn’t have ideal size to be a tackle and Kouandjio has questions surrounding his injury history. However both would be starting caliber tackles in the NFL.
3. Tere could also be some surprises for the Ravens as well. If Mike Evans out of Texas A&M or Eric Ebron TE out of North Carolina slides down the draft board and is available at 17, even with the additions of Steve Smith and Owen Daniels, the Ravens could pounce on the available talent. Other options could include LB CJ Mosely out of Alabama or an even bigger surprise would be Darqueze Dennard out of Michigan State.
All of these players are options for the Ravens with the 17th overall pick, but if there are two things we know for certain; The Ravens will be targeting the best available player, and we can only speculate what will actually transpire in the war room on draft day. As us Baltimore Fans say “in Ozzie we trust.”